Make Friends

Wed, Feb 16

Love is indisputably a key part of the good life. In this session, we'll consider the role that philosophy can play in helping us understand love of friends and family. We'll read Aristotle's beautiful meditations on philia (friendship) and consider the three categories of friendship he supposes contribute to our good lives. We'll also consider objections to Aristotle's view that the highest forms of friendship require virtue.  

By the end of this session, you will:

  1. Understand Aristotle's argument for the claim that the highest forms of philia require mutual commitment to virtue
  2. Debate objections and counterexamples to Aristotle's theory of love and friendship
  3. Reflect on the idea that love is a virtue capable of development.

Read This:


Aristotle on Friendship (selections from Nicomachean Ethics, Book VIII)

APPLICATION TEXT (Access on "Perusall" via Canvas):

36 Questions that Lead to Love (New York Times)

Do This:

Complete these steps before you come to class

  • Consider the following prompts (you may want to write responses to these in your journal or talk about them with a friend):
    • Do you think most (or all) friendship aims at personal gain? Can you think of an example of a friend you love for their own sake (and/or who loves you for your own sake)?
    • What do you think explains the effect that the "36 Questions" had on randomly assigned participants?

After you've finished today's reading, make sure you complete the reading quiz, which you can access through your section's Canvas page.

Watch This: