October, 1993

Friendship

A Philosophical Reader
  • Neera Badhwar

    Senior Fellow, F. A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics.
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Recent years have seen a marked revival of interest among philosophers in the topic of friendship. This collection of fifteen articles is the first to make some of the best recent work on friendship readily accessible.

The book is divided into three sections. The first centers on the nature of friendship, the difference between friendship and other personal loves, and the importance of friendship in the individual's life. The second section discusses the moral significance of friendship and the response of various ethical theories and theorists (Aristotelian, Christian, Kantian, and consequentialist) to the phenomenon of friendship. The last section deals with the importance of personal and civic friendship in a good society. Badhwar's introduction is a comprehensive critical discussion of the issues raised by the essays: it relates them to each other, as well as to historical and contemporary discussions not included in the anthology, thus providing the reader with an integrated overview of the essays and their place in the larger philosophical picture.