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Title: Aristotle's Eudemian Account of Friendship
Authors: Gartner, Corinne Andrea
Advisors: Lorenz, Hendrik
Cooper, John M.
Contributors: Philosophy Department
Subjects: Philosophy
Classical studies
Issue Date: 2011
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: In book VII of the Eudemian Ethics, Aristotle offers a theory of friendship according to which friends are essential for human flourishing. Given that we are social creatures who by nature live together, Aristotle must establish what sort of cooperative relationships underlie our communal associations. Most scholarship on Aristotle's ethics, including the topic of friendship, focuses on the Nicomachean Ethics. My dissertation aims to articulate Aristotle's uniquely Eudemian views concerning philia. To this end, the project looks closely at three fundamental issues in Aristotle's Eudemian account of friendship regarding which Aristotle makes different claims in the Nicomachean Ethics. In the first chapter, I consider what the types of friendship are and how they relate to one another (e.g., focally or by analogy). I argue, first, that each type of friendship is based on a fundamental way that we as humans are psychologically attracted to things as well as people, and, second, that the type of focal relationship that Aristotle applies to friendship in the EE is derivative; the two subordinate forms of friendship--friendships based on pleasure or utility--relate focally to the primary form of friendship--friendship based on character--in virtue of the relationships among the grounds of each type. In the second chapter, I take up the issue of whether friends of the primary sort must be virtuous. I defend the view that one must possess only some genuinely decent features of character in order to participate in primary philia, thus granting the possibility of character-based friendships for individuals who are qualifiedly enkratic and even qualifiedly akratic. In the third chapter, I investigate the role of friendship in human flourishing. The last of these issues is connected to the central argument of the Eudemian Ethics, since the treatise aims at providing a theory of the human good. As it turns out, the human good is a common good, shared between virtuous friends engaged in common virtuous activity.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Philosophy

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