A philosophical exploration of the meaning and significance of friendship. This book explains the persistence of friendship today in the light of the history of philosophical approaches to the subject. It considers ideals of intimacy and fusion in the context of claims that such ideals are unrealistic and even dangerous. Cicero's scepticism about friendship in the public realm is compared with the Aristotelian view of friendship as a genuine political bond, and with Derrida's development of that view via an exploration of Aristotle's alleged and provocative announcement 'O my friends, there is no friend'. Tensions between love and respect, identity and difference, a focus on the self and a focus on the other are closely examined. From Aristotle to contemporary theorists, the book explores the conditions that enable the development of self-understanding in friendship, the delicate and unstable pairing of concepts like inclination and duty and distinctions between self-love, self esteem and self-concern in relations between friends.
Key Features * Recognition of the variety of the term 'friend' in the history of philosophy * The treatment of the tension between identity and difference in relations between friends * Discussion of the contribution of friendship to self-understanding.
Sandra Lynch has taught philosophy at the University of New South Wales and Macquarie University. She is at present teaching and writing about the development of philosophical inquiry skills in schools. Her research interests lie in the areas of ethics, self-constitution, philosophy and literature and values education and she has published within these areas.
PHILOSOPHY AND FRIENDSHIP - Thinking About Identity and Difference; CONTENTS; Acknowledgements; Preface; PART I Identity and Difference in Philosophical Conceptions of Friendship; Chapter 1. - Approaching the Kaleidoscope of Friendship; Friendship: the Fluidity of the Concept; Ancient Notions of Friendship; The Aristotelian Taxonomy; The Kantian Taxonomy; Chapter 2. The Friend as Another Self; Friendship and Identification with the Other; The Friend as a Second Self; Elective Affinity; Friendship and Self-Sufficiency; Chapter 3. The Other Self as Friend; Difference: Threats and Challenges; Self Consciousness and its Implications for Friendship; Celebrating Difference; Friendship, Illusion and Fragility; PART II Friendship as an Ethical Relationship; Chapter 4. Re-imagining the Possibility of Friendship; The Moral Significance of Friendship; Aristotelian and Kantian Heritage; Intentionality and Inclination; Resolving Tension; Duty, Difference and Expectation; PART III The Relationship between Friendship and Self-Understanding; Chapter 5. Seeing Oneself as Friend; Friendship and the Constitution of the Self; Thinking Reasonably about Emotion; Emotions, Judgements and Characterisation; Reading the Other - Imaginative Transfer and the Integration of Reason and Emotion; Seeing Oneself as Friend - Self-love and Self-concern; Friendship, Self-Knowledge and Understanding; Chapter Six Friendship in Contemporary Life; Friendship and fragmentation; The ambiguity of friendship; Balance in an unstable enterprise; Concluding Remarks.