Contrary to many "political" interpretations, of "Brave New World" and "1984" this paper stresses that the evil of totalitarian government is not simply in the presence of great and arbitrary power, but in the particular ways that such power erodes love and friendship, the bases of social life. The crisis represented by the destruction of all possibility of love and friendship is placed in the context of Dostoevsky's meditations on "The Grand Inquisitor," and reflections by noted political theorists (...) on the character of modern politics. (shrink)
We focus here on some familiar kinds of cases of conflict between friendship and morality, and, on the basis of our account of the nature of friendship, argue for the following two claims: first, that in some cases where we are led morally astray by virtue of a relationship that makes its own demands on us, the relationship in question is properly called a friendship; second, that relationships of this kind are valuable in their own right.
We argue that companion friendship is not importantly marked by self-disclosure as understood in either of these two ways. One's close friends need not be markedly similar to oneself, as is claimed by the mirror account, nor is the role of private information in establishing and maintaining intimacy important in the way claimed by the secrets view. Our claim will be that the mirror and secrets views not only fail to identify features that are in part constitutive of close (...) or companion friendship, but that they miss the mark quite broadly and fail to capture anything significant and distinctive about the ways in which friendship has an impact on the self. The article will proceed as follows. In the first section we outline our account of the self in friendship. In the next two sections we examine the mirror and secrets views and develop our own view in counterpoint to these. In the final section we defend our own account by showing how it provides the governing conditions which do distinguish friendship from other kinds of relations between persons. (shrink)
This book explores for the first time an idea common to both Plato and Aristotle: although people are separate, their lives need not be; one person's life may overflow into another's, so that helping someone else is a way of serving oneself. Price considers how this idea unites the philosophers' treatments of love and friendship (which are otherwise very different), and demonstrates that this view of love and friendship, applied not only to personal relationships, but also to the (...) household and even the city-state, promises to resolve the old dichotomy between egoism and altruism. (shrink)
In Nicomachean Ethics 10.7, Aristotle says that the contemplative wise person living the happiest and most self-sufficient life will need other people less than a person living a life of practical virtue. This seems to be in tension with Aristotle's emphasis elsewhere on the political nature of human beings. I analyze in detail Aristotle's most elaborate defense of the need for friends in the happy life in Nicomachean Ethics 9.9 to see whether and how he resolves the need for friends (...) with the self-sufficiency of the happy life. The virtue-friendship described in the chapter does turn out to be more compatible with the self-contained unity of a happy life than other sorts of friendship, because collaboration in virtuous activities integrates the friend into one's activities. This is true even for contemplative friendship, where, as Aristotle suggests in the ornate final argument of 9.9, the friends collaboratively contemplate human nature and take pleasure in the goodness of human life. The unity achieved in this kind of friendship is an imitation of God's self-contemplative and self-contained unity. Nonetheless, I conclude, there is no evidence that Aristotle did not think that friendship was conditioned on human failings and so that friends would be less necessary for those leading the most excellent contemplative lives. (shrink)
A combination of social forces has thrown marriage into question in westernised societies at the end of the millennium. This uncertainty creates space for new ways of thinking about marriage. In this context, we examine the idea of marriage as friendship. We trace its genealogy in the work of Mary Wollstonecraft, John Stuart Mill and Harriet Taylor and then subject it to critical scrutiny using some of Michel de Montaigne’s ideas. We ask how applic- able the ideal of higher (...)friendship is to marriage and what might be gained and lost by a synthesis of marriage and friendship. Grounding the discussion in historical sources is valuable because the topic is so little explored in the contemporary philosophical literature. This approach also allows any enduring value in these historical texts to be elicited. (shrink)
Friendship, as a unique form of social relationship, establishes a particular union among individual human beings which allows them to overcome diverse boundaries between individual subjects. Age, gender or cultural differences do not necessarily constitute an obstacle for establishing friendship and as a social phenomenon, it might even include the potential to exist independently of space and time. This analysis in the interface of social science and phenomenology focuses on the principles of construction and constitution of this specific (...) form of human encounter. In a “parallel action,” the perspective of social science focuses on concrete socio-historical constructions of friendship in different time periods. These findings are confronted with the description of principles of the subjective constitution of the phenomenon of “friendship” from a phenomenological perspective. The point of reference for the study is the real type of the symbolically established and excessively idealized form of friendship intended for eternity which was especially popular in eighteenth century Germany. Analogous to the method of phenomenological reduction, three different levels of protosociological reduction are developed for the exploration of the unique social phenomenon of friendship. (shrink)
This is the first book to offer a comprehensive account of the major philosophical works on friendship and its relationship to self-love. The book gives central place to Aristotle's searching examination of friendship in the Nicomachean Ethics. Lorraine Pangle argues that the difficulties surrounding this discussion are soon dispelled once one understands the purpose of the Ethics as both a source of practical guidance for life and a profound, theoretical investigation into human nature. The book also provides fresh (...) interpretations of works on friendship by Plato, Cicero, Epicurus, Seneca, Montaigne and Bacon. The author shows how each of these thinkers sheds light on central questions of moral philosophy: is human sociability rooted in neediness or strength? is the best life chiefly solitary, or dedicated to a community with others? Clearly structured and engagingly written, this book will appeal to a broad swathe of readers across philosophy, classics and political science. (shrink)
This essay looks at the impact that technology is having upon friendship. For as we all know, it is nothing at all to see friends at a restaurant table all engaged in texting rather than talking to one another.
Based on a modern reading of Aristotle’s theory of friendship, we argue that virtual friendship does not qualify as genuine friendship. By ‘virtual friendship’ we mean the type of friendship that exists on the internet, and seldom or never is combined with real life interaction. A ‘traditional friendship’ is, in contrast, the type of friendship that involves substantial real life interaction, and we claim that only this type can merit the label ‘genuine (...) class='Hi'>friendship’ and thus qualify as morally valuable. The upshot of our discussion is that virtual friendship is what Aristotle might have described as a lower and less valuable form of social exchange. (shrink)
: If liberal theory is to move forward, it must take the political nature of family relations seriously. The beginnings of such a liberalism appear in Mary Wollstonecraft's work. Wollstonecraft's depiction of the family as a fundamentally political institution extends liberal values into the private sphere by promoting the ideal of marriage as friendship. However, while her model of marriage diminishes arbitrary power in family relations, she seems unable to incorporate enduring sexual relations between married partners.
Instrumentalism about moral compromise in politics appears inconsistent with accepting both the existence of non-instrumental or principled reasons for moral compromise in close personal friendships and a rich ideal of civic friendship. Using a robust conception of political reconciliation during democratic transitions as an example of civic friendship, I argue that all three claims are compatible. Spouses have principled reasons for compromise because they commit to sharing responsibility for their joint success as partners in life, and not because (...) their relationship involves strong affective attitudes of goodwill, solidarity, trust, and the like. Since shared responsibility for ends is an inappropriate element in the political relationship between citizens, the members of a divided society may manifest the constitutive attitudes of political reconciliation without any commitment to principled reasons for moral compromise. (shrink)
Consequentialism involves a kind of strong impartiality which seems incompatible with the sort of partiality manifested in friendships. Consequentialists such as Kagan respond that friendship does not, in fact, require partiality. Against this, I argue that friendship cannot exist without expressions of personal feeling, and that such expressions necessarily involve a kind of partiality. Because her every action is determined by the goal of maximizing the impersonal good, a consequentialist cannot use her actions (including actions of speech) to (...) express her feelings for her fellows. I argue that we should expect this problem to afflict sophisticated as well as straightforward consequentialism. Finally, I consider and reject the suggestion that the consequentialist agent, who has no particular friends, can be considered a friend to everybody. (shrink)
Friendships have always been one of the most valuable assets in the lives of human beings, and friendships were of utmost importance to Spinoza. There are different kinds of friendship but for Spinoza genuine friendship can only occur among those who pursue the truth. In this paper I will (1) point out what Spinoza means by the truth, (2) show how friendships are possible even though there is tension in our lives between our desire to preserve ourselves and (...) our desire to preserve others, (3) differentiate two kinds of friendship, and (4) see what if anything is missing from his account of friendship. (shrink)
One way to approach the question of whether there are non-derivative partial reasons of any kind is to give an account of what partial reasons are, and then to consider whether there are such reasons. If there are, then it is at least possible that there are partial reasons of friendship. It is this approach that will be taken here, and it produces several interesting results. The first is a point about the structure of partial reasons. It is at (...) least a necessary condition of a reason’s being partial that it has an explicit relational component. This component, technically, is a rela- tum in the reason relation that itself is a relation between the person to whom the reason applies and the person whom the action for which there is a reason concerns. The second conclusion of the paper is that this relational component is also required for a number of types of putatively impartial reasons. In order to avoid trivialising the distinction between partial and impartial rea- sons, some further sufficient condition must be applied. Finally, there is some prospect for a way of distinguishing between impartial reasons that contain a relational component and partial rea- sons, but that this approach suggests that the question of whether ethics is partial or impartial will be settled at the level of normative ethical discourse, or at least not at the level of discourse about the nature of reasons for action. (shrink)
Friendship, in its nature, purpose, and effects, has been an important concern of philosophy since antiquity. It was of particular significance in the life of Gilles Deleuze, one of the most original and influential philosophers of the late twentieth century. Taking L'Abécédaire de Gilles Deleuze -- an eight-hour video interview that was intended to be aired only after Deleuze's death -- as a key source, Charles J. Stivale examines the role of friendship as it appears in Deleuze's work (...) and life. Stivale develops a zigzag methodology practiced by Deleuze himself to explore several concepts as they relate to friendship and to discern how friendship shifts, slips, and creates movement between Deleuze and specific friends. The first section of this study discusses the elements of creativity, pedagogy, and literature that appear implicitly and explicitly in his work. The second section focuses on Deleuze's friendships with Foucault, Derrida, Claire Parnet, and Félix Guattari and reveals his conception of friendship as an ultimately impersonal form of intensity that goes beyond personal relationships. Stivale's analysis offers an intimate view into the thought of one of the greatest thinkers of our time. (shrink)
This article examines Derrida’s insistence on the contretemps that breaks open time, paying particular attention to Politics of Friendship and the way in which this book envisages the ‘untimely’ as both interrupting, and making possible, friendship. Although I suggest that Derrida’s temporal deconstruction of the Aristotelian distinction between utility and ‘perfect’ friendships is convincing, I also argue that Derrida’s own account of friendship is itself touched by time, in the peculiar sense of ‘touched’ that connotes affected and (...) wounded. Derrida’s work instantiates what Husserl might call a transcendental pathology, in that it intermittently instantiates an ethics of non-presentist time (the time which is also the transcendental condition for the event of friendship), and, by contrast, disparages the significance of what we might call an ethics of phronesis, a ‘lived’ friendship of ‘omni-temporal’ dispositions, and embodied and habitual patterns. I end this article by proposing a dialectic between the disjunctive and conjunctive aspects of time that does not accord any kind of a priori privilege to the one over the other. (shrink)
One of the major purposes of this article is to show that friendship was one of Nietzsche's central concerns and that he shared Aristotle's belief that it takes higher and lower forms. Yet Nietzsche's interest in friendship is overlooked in much of the secondary literature. An important reason for this is that this interest is most evident in the works of his middle period, and these tend to be neglected in commentaries on Nietzsche. In the works of the (...) middle period, Nietzsche suggests that there is a close connection between friendship and selfhood, contending that an individual's friendships reflect something about his or her identity. Following Aristotle, he believes that friendship can make a significant contribution to self-knowledge and self-improvement, which are both closely associated with his notion of self-overcoming. Nietzsche encourages individuals to adopt an aesthetic approach to the self: they should refashion themselves by consolidating their strengths, minimising their weaknesses and developing themselves in new directions. The works of the middle period suggest, however, that not only can friendship foster self-overcoming, but that the talent for friendship is one of the marks of a higher human being. Recognising this requires some reconsideration of Nietzsche's putative individualism and the belief that he holds great individuals to be utterly independent and indifferent to the judgements of others. It also requires a revision of the common interpretation that he is unremittingly sceptical about pity and other forms of fellow-feeling. Yet while Nietzsche generalises about friendship in the works of the middle period and contrasts its superior and inferior forms, he remains sensitive to its particularity. He never adopts a wholly formulaic approach to this relationship, but recognises that difference and responsiveness to particularity are among its central characteristics. (shrink)
Among the tasks of modern political philosophy is to develop a favored conception of the relations among modern citizens, among people who can know little or nothing of one another individually and yet are deeply reciprocally dependent. One might think of this as developing a favored conception of civic friendship. In this essay I sketch two candidate conceptions. The first derives from the Kantian tradition, the second from the 1844 Marx. I present the two conceptions and then describe similarities (...) and differences. My approach is both taxonomic and programmatic. My taxonomic goal is to provide an initial sketch of the conceptual territory. My programmatic goal is to provide reasons to think that the conception derived from Marx is both appealing and feasible. (shrink)
The widespread and growing use of new social media, especially social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, invites sustained ethical reflection on emerging forms of online friendship. Social scientists and psychologists are gathering a wealth of empirical data on these trends, yet philosophical analysis of their ethical implications remains comparatively impoverished. In particular, there have been few attempts to explore how traditional ethical theories might be brought to bear upon these developments, or what insights they might offer, if (...) any. In attempting to address this lacuna in applied ethical research, this paper investigates the ethical significance of online friendship by means of an Aristotelian theory of the good life, which holds that human flourishing is chiefly realized through ‘complete’ friendships of virtue. Here, four key dimensions of ‘virtue friendship’ are examined in relation to online social media: reciprocity, empathy, self-knowledge and the shared life. Online social media support and strengthen friendship in ways that mirror these four dimensions, particularly when used to supplement rather than substitute for face-to-face interactions. However, deeper reflection on the meaning of the shared life (suzên) for Aristotle raises important and troubling questions about the capacity of online social media to support complete friendships of virtue in the contemporary world, along with significant concerns about the enduring relevance of this Aristotelian ideal for the good life in the 21st century. (shrink)
It has become commonplace to hold the view that virtual surrogates for the things that are good in life are inferior to their actual, authentic counterparts, including virtual education, virtual skill-demanding activities and virtual acts of creativity. Virtual friendship has also been argued to be inferior to traditional, embodied forms of friendship. Coupled with the view that virtual friendships threaten to replace actual ones, the conclusion is often made that we ought to concentrate our efforts on actual friendships (...) rather than settle for virtual replacements. The purpose of this paper is to offer a balanced and empirically grounded analysis of the relative prudential value of actual and virtual friendship. That is, do actual and virtual friendships differ when it comes to enhancing our subjective well-being? In doing so, I will discuss a number of presuppositions that lie behind common criticisms of virtual friendship. This will include, among other considerations, their potential for replacing actual friendship, as well as the possibility for self-disclosure, trust, sharing and dynamic spread of happiness in virtual worlds. The purpose is not to arrive at a firm, normative conclusion, but rather to introduce a number of considerations that we should take into account in our individual deliberations over which role virtual friendships ought to have in our unique life situations. (shrink)
My aim in this paper is to demonstrate the relevance of the Aristotelian notion of civic friendship to contemporary political discussion by arguing that it can function as a social good. Contrary to some dominant interpretations of the ancient conception of friendship according to which it can only be understood as an obligatory reciprocity, I argue that friendship between fellow citizens is important because it contributes to the unity of both state and community by transmitting feelings of (...) intimacy and solidarity. In that sense, it can be understood as an important relationship predicated on affection and generosity, virtues lacking from both contemporary politics and society that seem to be merely dominated by Post-Enlightenment ideals. For Aristotle, friendship is important for society because it generates concord, articulating thus a basis for social unity and political agreement. (shrink)
In this article I examine a recent development in online communication, the immersive virtual worlds of Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games (MMORPGs). I argue that these environments provide a distinct form of online experience from the experience available through earlier generation forms of online communication such as newsgroups, chat rooms, email and instant messaging. The experience available to participants in MMORPGs is founded on shared activity, while the experience of earlier generation online communication is largely if not wholly dependent on (...) the communication itself. This difference, I argue, makes interaction in immersive virtual worlds such as MMORPGs relevantly similar to interaction in the physical world, and distinguishes both physical world and immersive virtual world interaction from other forms of online communication. I argue that to the extent that shared activity is a core element in the formation of friendships, friendships can form in immersive virtual worlds as they do in the physical world, and that this possibility was unavailable in earlier forms of online interaction. I do, however, note that earlier forms of online interaction are capable of sustaining friendships formed through either physical or immersive virtual world interaction. I conclude that we cannot any longer make a sharp distinction between the physical and the virtual world, as the characteristics of friendship are able to be developed in each. (shrink)
Simon Keller and Sarah Stroud have both argued that the demands of being a good friend can conflict with the demands of standard epistemic norms. Intuitively, good friends will tend to seek favorable interpretations of their friends’ behaviors, interpretations that they would not apply to strangers; as such they seem prone to form unjustified beliefs. I argue that there is no such clash of norms. In particular, I argue that friendship does not require us to form beliefs about our (...) friends in the biased fashion suggested by Stroud and Keller. I further argue that while some slight bias in belief-formation might be permitted by friendship, any such bias would fall within the bounds of epistemic propriety. (shrink)
Aristotle’s account of friendship has largely withstood the test of time. Yet there are overlooked elements of his account that, when challenged by apparent threats of current and emerging communication technologies, reveal his account to be remarkably prescient. I evaluate the danger that technological advances in communication pose to the future of friendship by examining and defending Aristotle’s claim that perfect or character-friends must live together. I concede that technologically-mediated communication can aid existing character-friendships, but I argue that (...) character-friendships cannot be created and sustained entirely through technological meditation. I examine text-based technologies, such as Facebook and email, and engage a non-text based technology that poses the greatest threat to my thesis—Skype. I then address philosophical literature on friendship and technology that has emerged in the last decade in Ethics and Information Technology to elucidate and defend my account by contrast. I engage Cocking and Matthews (2000), who argue that friendship cannot be created and sustained entirely through text-based contact, Briggle (2008), who argues that friendship can be created and sustained entirely through text-based contact, and Munn (2012), who argues that friendship cannot be created and entirely sustained through text-based contact but can be created and sustained entirely in immersive virtual worlds. My account discusses a certain kind of friendship, character-friendship, and a certain kind of technology, Skype, that these accounts do not. Examination of these essays helps to demonstrate that character friendship cannot be sustained entirely by technologically-aided communication and that character-friends must live together. (shrink)
Contemporary appeals for a deepening of civic friendship in liberal democracies often draw on Aristotle. This paper warns against a certain kind of attempt to use Aristotle in our own theorising, namely accounts of civic friendship that characterise it as similar in some way to Aristotelian virtue friendship. The most prominent of these attempts have focused on disinterested mutual regard as a basic ingredient in all Aristotelian forms of friendship. The argument against this is that it (...) inadequately accounts for the idea of a virtue friend as another self, which we find in Aristotle’s thought. When we attend closely to that, we see that civic friendship is different in a fundamental way from virtue friendship because virtue friends are keenly committed to the moral improvement of one another. It is argued that Aristotle does not see civic friendship in the same way. However, if this argument about the differences between the forms of friendship cannot be accepted, the paper argues that we should not draw on Aristotle for an understanding of civic friendship because any similarity it might have to virtue friendship would license illiberal interventions in the lives of citizens in service of some idea of moral improvement. A seeming connection between Aristotelian civic friendship and thick conceptions of citizenship is replaced with a connection between it and thinner conceptions. (shrink)
What unites friends and distinguishes them from others? Is the preference we give to friends rationally and morally justifiable? This collection of new essays on the philosophy of friendship considers such questions.
This article draws out two implications for cosmopolitan or global friendship from an examination of a recent work on civic friendship in the domestic sphere: (1) Insofar as it is the case that civic friendship, as defined by Schwarzenbach (On civic friendship: Including women in the state. Columbia University Press, New York, 2009) is necessary for justice in the state, it is also the case that the absence of global justice can be partially explained by the (...) absence of what might be called cosmopolitan friendship. (2) If we consider the practicalities of civic friendship, we find that cosmopolitan friendship is an even more difficult and demanding project than we might have imagined. (shrink)
Widespread misanthropy, understood as the disposition to reject society, is at once a permanent source of instability and injustice, and yet also a valuable support of cherished liberal practices, such as toleration. We must seek therefore to ‘civilise’ the misanthropic temper. Michel de Montaigne provides an instructive case study in this context, for he successfully moderated his misanthropy by his conviviality and friendship. The non-conditional character of Montaignean friendship functions to moderate rational misanthropic antipathy and thereby suggests a (...) striking reinterpretation of civic friendship. Montaigne may seem an unpromising ally for contemporary defenders of civic friendship, but in fact his essays provide a valuable resource for the political theory of community. (shrink)
It is sometimes held that modern institutionally-focussed conceptions of social justice are lacking in one essential respect: they ignore the importance of civic friendship or solidarity. It is also, typically simultaneously, held that Aristotle’s thought provides a fertile ground for elucidating an account of civic friendship. I argue, first, that Aristotle is no help on this score: he has no conception of distinctively civic friendship. I then go on to argue that the Kantian distinction between perfect and (...) imperfect duties is more useful than talk of civic friendship in capturing the non-institutional demands of social justice. (shrink)
The ubiquity of online social networks has led to the phenomena of having friends that are known only through online interaction. In many cases, no physical interaction has taken place, but still people consider each other friends. This paper analyzes whether these friendships would satisfy the conditions of Aristotle’s highest level of friendship–what he calls perfect friendship. Since perfect friendship manifests through a shared love of virtue, physical proximity would seem to be unnecessary at first glance. However, (...) I argue that the nature of online interaction may preclude us from fully recognizing the virtues and vices in others to the degree necessary for perfect friendship to occur. As such, online friendships face significant obstacles against moving beyond utility or pleasure, and this has important repercussions for online interaction more generally. (shrink)
This paper seeks to examine the plausibility of the concept of ‘Civic Friendship’ as a philosophical model for a conceptualisation of ‘belonging’. Such a concept, would hold enormous interest for educators in enabling the identification of particular virtues, attitudes and values that would need to be taught and nurtured to enable the civic relationship to be passed on from generation to generation. I consider both of the standard arguments for civic friendship: that it can be understood within the (...) Aristotelian typology as either a form of utility friendship or as a form of virtue friendship. I argue that civic friendship may not be the most appropriate model and that attempts to resolve the problems through looking on it as a political metaphor leave it unable to fulfil the function for which it was originally designed in Ancient Greece. Finally, I emphasize the need to carefully consider which particular metaphors we choose for civic relationships and how we subsequently use them. (shrink)
Introduction -- The problem of Socrates : Kierkegaard and Nietzsche -- Kierkegaard : Socrates vs. the God -- Nietzsche : call for an artistic Socrates -- Plato's Socrates -- Love, generation, and political community (the Symposium) -- The prologue -- Phaedrus' praise of nobility -- Pausanias' praise of law -- Eryximachus' praise of art -- Aristophanic comedy -- Tragic victory -- Socrates' turn -- Socrates' prophetess and the daemonic -- Love as generative -- Alcibiades' dramatic entrance -- Alcibiades' images of (...) socrates -- Alcibiades' praise of Socrates' virtues -- Aftermath -- The incompleteness of the Symposium -- Self-knowledge, love, and rhetoric (Plato's Phaedrus) -- The setting -- Non-lovers (Lysias' speech and Socrates' first speech) -- Souls and their fall -- Lovers and their ascent -- Prayer to love -- Contemporary rhetoric and politics -- A genuine art of rhetoric -- Writing -- Prayer to Pan -- Who is the friend? (the Lysis) -- Joining the group -- Getting acquainted -- Seeking a friend -- Are friends the ones loving, the ones loved, or both? -- Are likes friends? -- Are unlikes friends? -- Are those who are neither good nor bad friends to the good? -- Are the kindred friends? -- Who might friends be? -- Friendly communities -- Socratic philosophizing -- Socrates' youthful search for cause -- Socrates' second sailing and the ideas -- Piety, poetry, and friendship. (shrink)
In Otherwise than Being, Levinas writes that the alterity of the Other escapes “le flair animal,” or the animal’s sense of smell. This paper puts pressure on the strong human-animal distinction that Levinas makes by considering the possibility that, while non-human animals may not respond to the alterity of the Other in the way that Levinas describes as responsibility, animal sensibility plays a key role in a relation to Others that Levinas does not discuss at length: friendship. This approach (...) to friendship addresses a gap in Levinas’ work between the absolute Other for whom I am responsible and the “brother” who is my political equal. (shrink)
Mark Vernon links the resources of the philosophical tradition with numerous illustrations from modern culture to ask what friendship is and how it relates to sex, work, politics and spirituality. Unusually, he argues that Plato and Nietzsche, as much as Aristotle and Aelred, should be put center stage. Their penetrating and occasionally tough insights are invaluable if friendship is to be a full, not merely sentimental, way of life for today.
Literature about the significance of cultivating democratic citizenship education in universities abounds. However, very little has been said about the importance of friendship in sustaining democratic communities. In this article I argue for a complementary view of friendship based on mutuality and love—with reference to the seminal ideas of Sherman and Derrida. My view is that teaching and learning ought to be used as pedagogical spaces to nurture forms of friendship which not only encourage mutuality but also (...) love in order to make possible the taking of risks on the part of students and teachers. And, if teachers and students act with mutuality and love they would be more favourably positioned in their society to take risks and to enact democratic justice. (shrink)
In “Friendship Amongst the Self-Sufficient: Epicurus” (this Journal, Vol. 2, No. 2, June 2001), Andrew Mitchell explores the Epicurean view of the relationship between self-sufficiency and friendship by contrasting it with the views of Aristotle and the Stoics. Epicurus, Aristotle, and the Stoics do indeed have interestingly different views on friendship that are well worth comparing. Yet Mitchell’s characterization of Aristotelian friendship is misleading, his account of Stoic friendship is inaccurate, and his interpretation of Epicurean (...)friendship is curiously imaginative but ultimately rather strange. (shrink)