Friendship plays an important role in our lives. We do things together with our friends and we enjoy being together. Friends are here for us when we need them. We feel with them when they are sad, and we share their happy times. The phenomenon of friendship, just as most important phenomena in human life, gives rise to a number of questions. Perhaps the first that occurs is this: what precisely is it that makes friendship so valuable that most of us think that a life without is seriously deficient? If it is possible at all to live a life that is strictly speaking solitary, friendship and other close relationships seem at least necessary for a good life. (Even a happy solitary contemplator of the divine appears to stand in some sort of close personal relationship to the divinity she contemplates.) Yet perhaps the importance of friendship goes deeper than that: it is conceivable that a life without friends not only fails to be a good life but is even deficient as a human life. In order to explore such issues we have to study more than the value of friendship (to which I will come back below) and turn to its very nature or essence. This is the topic of Part I, which consists of a new interpretation of Aristotle’s notion of friendship by Spyros Benetatos and a discussion of the character of friendship by Laurence Thomas.
|Title of host publication||Thinking about Friendship|
|Subtitle of host publication||Historical and Contemporary Philosophical Perspectives|
|ISBN (Electronic)||9781137003997, 9781137003997|
|ISBN (Print)||9781137003980, 9781349434473, 1137003995|
|Publication status||Published - 2013|