Review of Metaphysics 30 (4):619 - 648 (1977)

Abstract
NEITHER in the scholarly nor in the philosophical literature on Aristotle does his account of friendship occupy a very prominent place. I suppose this is partly, though certainly not wholly, to be explained by the fact that the modern ethical theories with which Aristotle’s might demand comparison hardly make room for the discussion of any parallel phenomenon. Whatever else friendship is, it is, at least typically, a personal relationship freely, even spontaneously, entered into, and ethics, as modern theorists tend to conceive it, deals rather with the ways in which people are required to regard, and behave toward, one another, than with the organization of their private affairs. To the extent, then, that one shares this modern outlook one will tend to neglect, or treat merely as an historical curiosity, Aristotle’s efforts to define friendship and to place it within the framework of human eudaimonia, the theory of which is central to moral philosophy as he understands it. Yet in the Nicomachean Ethics the two books on φιλία make up nearly a fifth of the whole, and this seems to me a fair measure of the importance of this subject to the complete understanding both of Aristotle’s overall moral theory and even of many of the more circumscribed topics to which so much scholarly and philosophical attention has been devoted. If, as I suggest, the failure of commentators to appreciate its importance is partly the effect of distortions produced by the moral outlook that has predominated in modern moral philosophy, the careful study of these books may help to free us from constricting prejudices and perhaps even make it possible to discover in Aristotle a plausible and suggestive alternative to the theories constructed on the narrower base characteristic of recent times.
Keywords Catholic Tradition  Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
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ISBN(s) 0034-6632
DOI revmetaph197730450
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Friendship and the Structure of Trust.Mark Alfano - 2016 - In Alberto Masala & Jonathan Webber (eds.), From Personality to Virtue. Oxford University Press. pp. 186-206.
Love.Bennett W. Helm - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Civility in the Post-Truth Age: An Aristotelian Account.Maria Silvia Vaccarezza & Michel Croce - 2021 - Humana.Mente - Journal of Philosophical Studies 39 (39):127-150.

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