XII—The Good of Friendship


  • Meeting of the Aristotelian Society held at Senate House, University of London, on 10 May 2010 at 4:15 pm.


Problems with representing friendship in painting and the novel and its more successful displays in drama reflect the fact that friends seldom act as inspiringly as traditional images of the relationship suggest: friends' activities are often trivial, commonplace and boring, sometimes even criminal. Despite all that, the philosophical tradition has generally considered friendship a moral good. I argue that it is not a moral good, but a good nonetheless. It provides opportunities to try different ways of being, and is crucial to the processes through which we establish our individuality.