Friendship: A History (Critical Histories of Subjectivity

Publish yr note: First released in 2010
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The that means and value of friendship became questions of accelerating curiosity lately, as declining charges of marriage and parenthood have made the relations much less valuable and pals extra so within the lives of many of us, rather within the western global.

Yet the historical past of friendship, and the ways that it has replaced its shape and its which means through the years has in basic terms simply all started to be mentioned. either traditionally and within the modern global, the language of friendship has now not been limited to non-public relationships. it truly is major additionally in discussions or descriptions of a number of diverse moral platforms, social associations and political alliances. The time period 'friend' and others derived from it, equivalent to 'mate' or 'comrade', have performed a huge function in constructing and characterizing specific non secular association, nationwide cultures and political pursuits. the idea that of friendship has been an immense one in western philosophy, too. certainly, for lots of philosophers, from Plato and Aristotle to G. E. Moore, friendship, or phrases attached to friendship are an important to the institution of society and to the that means of the nice existence.

As Jacques Derrida has argued lately, relating to his publication The Politics of Friendship, whereas 'friendship ...is marginal within the ordinary taxonomies of political options, once you learn the canonical texts in political idea beginning with Plato or Aristotle, you find that comradeship performs an establishing position within the definition of justice, of democracy even.'

This quantity goals to mix an research of the foremost classical philosophical texts of friendship and their carrying on with value over many centuries with a broader dialogue of the altering ways that friendship used to be understood and skilled in Europe from the Hellenic interval to the current. it's the results of a collaborative learn undertaking that has concerned philosophers and historians with targeted examine pursuits in Classical Greek philosophy and within the historical past of medieval and renaissance, 18th century nineteenth and twentieth century Europe.

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Additional resources for Friendship: A History (Critical Histories of Subjectivity and Culture)

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The early dialogues of Plato and Xenophon’s Memorabilia contain several sustained discussions of the nature of friendship and its value. Of particular importance are the Platonic Lysis and Alcibiades I,40 as well as Xenophon’s Mem. 6. Plato makes use of other characters in his dialogues apart from Socrates – particularly in those dialogues written later in his life. Yet Plato himself makes no appearance. Nor does Plato ever provide a “user’s manual” for the dialogue form. We are hard-pressed to know how much of what one of Plato’s lead characters – whether it be Socrates, Timaeus or the Stranger from Elea – says should be taken to indicate Plato’s view on any subject.

80 Family friendships can involve pleasure, utility and virtue. Friendship between parent and child includes pleasure and utility. So can the friendship between husband and wife. 82 Aristotle’s explicit remarks here seem to be potentially at odds with other, apparently inescapable, inferences from equally explicit claims. 84 Since it is distinctive of the person who possesses practical wisdom to deliberate well, this appears to preclude women possessing it and so possessing full virtue. And this would seem to preclude them from virtue friendships, unless Aristotle supposes that virtue-friendships is still possible between persons who have different kinds of virtue.

Moreover, this salvation is both personal and unconditional. The philosopher can be happy or eudaimonos even while being cooked alive in the bull of Phalaris. It is easy to overstate the extent to which the uncertain character of the times influenced the content of Hellenistic philosophy. 115 Zeller’s remarks evince his view that the Stoics and Epicureans were merely an unfortunate interlude between the glories of Plato and Aristotle and philosophy’s rebirth in Plotinus. Even if we reject Zeller’s judgment of the value of Hellenistic philosophy, we must recognize that there has been a subtle shift.

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