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Abstract

This article examines the origins of and philosophical justifications for Aristotelian friendship (philia) and early Confucian filial piety (xiaoinline image). What underlying assumptions about bonds between friends and family members do the philosophies share or uniquely possess? Is the Aristotelian emphasis on relationships between equals incompatible with the Confucian regard for filiality? As I argue, the Aristotelian and early Confucian accounts, while different in focus, share many of the same tensions in the attempt to balance hierarchical and familial associations with those between friends who are on the same footing.