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As then lovers find their greatest delight in seeing those they love, and prefer the gratification of the sense of sight to that of all the other senses, that sense being the chief seat and source of love, so likewise for friends (may we not say?) the society of each other is the most desirable thing there is. For (i) friendship is essentially a partnership. And (ii) a man stands in the same relation to a friend as to himself1; but the consciousness of his own existence is a good; so also therefore is the consciousness of his friend's existence; but this2 consciousness is actualized in intercourse; hence friends naturally desire each other's society.

1 See chap. 4 and 9.5.

2 Or possibly, ‘and friendship is realized in intercourse,’ a separate reason for the thesis of the first sentence.

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