|What is my age:||30|
That is, I may love my friend because of the pleasure I get out of her, or because of the ways in which she is useful to me, or because I find her to have a virtuous character. For more on the problem of fungibility, see Section 2. As such, friendship is undoubtedly central to our lives, in part because the special concern we have for our friends must have a place within a broader set of concerns, including moral concerns, and in part because our friends can help shape who we are as persons.
The intent of thisin which what gets shared is, we might say, an identity that the friends have in common, is not to be descriptively accurate of particular friendships; it is rather to provide a kind of ideal that actual friendships at best only approximate. Friedman offers another way to make sense of the influence my friend has on my sense of value by appealing to the notion of bestowal. For more on the notion of caring about another for her sake and the variety of philosophical s of it, see the entry on love.
Indeed, that friends have a reciprocal effect on each other is a part of the concern for equality many find essential to friendship, and it is central to the discussion of intimacy in Section 1. Is it a matter of merely passively accepting the direction and interpretation?
This shortcoming might push us to understanding our receptivity to direction and interpretation not in dispositional terms but rather in normative terms: other things being equal, we ought to accept direction and interpretation from our friends precisely because they are our friends. The message might be that merely having coincidence in evaluative outlook is enough to satisfy 4 and 5. Rather, it seems, we are at least selective in the ways in which we allow our friends to direct and interpret us, and we can resist other directions and interpretations. Consequently, the reason I have to care for myself, including my future selves, for my sake is the same as the reason I have to care about my friend for her sake: because I recognize the intrinsic value of the excellent character she or I have Whiting10; for a similar view, see Keller It should be clear that Whiting does not merely claim that friends share values only in that these values happen to coincide; if that were the case, her conception of friendship would be vulnerable to the charge that the friends really are not concerned for each other but merely for the intrinsically valuable properties that each exemplifies.
Lynch provides further criticisms of the mirroring view, arguing that the differences between friends can be central and important to their friendship.
A central difference among the various s of mutual caring is the way in which these s understand the kind of evaluation implicit therein. Once again there are weaker and stronger versions. According to Friedman, the intimacy of friendship takes the form of a commitment friends have to each other as unique persons, a commitment in which the. Rather, the values are shared in the sense that they are most fundamentally their values, at which they tly arrive by deliberating together. A final common thread in philosophical s of friendship is shared activity.
As understood here, love is an evaluative attitude directed at particular persons as such, an attitude which we might take towards someone whether or not that love is reciprocated and whether or not we have an established relationship with her. Given this classification of kinds of love, philia seems to be that which is most clearly relevant to friendship though just what philia amounts to needs to be clarified in more detail. On this point, there is considerable variation in the literature—so much that it raises the question whether differing s aim at elucidating the same object.
For this reason, love and friendship often get lumped together as a single topic; nonetheless, there are ificant differences between them. Badhwar First, they claim that this view places too much emphasis on similarity as motivating and sustaining the friendship. Similar ideas can be found in Annis Their point is that the secrets view underestimates the kind of trust at issue in friendship, conceiving of it largely as a matter of discretion. As noted in the 3rd paragraph of Section 1. Yet this would seem to be a matter of ceding your autonomy to your friend, and that is surely not what they intend.
It might be asked whether one or another of these types of friendship ought to take priority in the analysis, such that, for example, cases of close friendship can be understood to be an enhanced version of acquaintance friendship, or whether acquaintance friendship should be understood as being deficient in various ways relative to ideal friendship. Consequently, s of friendship tend to understand it not merely as a case of reciprocal love of some form together with mutual acknowledgment of this lovebut as essentially involving ificant interactions between the friends—as being in this sense a certain kind of relationship.
More on this topic for:
Thus, insofar as friendship involves some such commitment, we cannot just give up on our friends for no reason at all; nor, it seems, should our commitment be unconditional, binding on us come what may. Agape is a kind of love that does not respond to the antecedent value of its object but instead is thought to create value in the beloved; it has come through the Christian tradition to mean the sort of love God has for us persons as well as, by extension, our love for God and our love for humankind in general. Such a bond of trust is what institutes the kind of intimacy characteristic of friendship.
There is an apparent tension here between the idea that friendship essentially involves being concerned for your friend for his sake and the idea of pleasure and utility friendships: how can you be concerned for him for his sake if you do that only because of the pleasure or utility you get out of it? Even so, much would need to be done to spell out this view satisfactorily.
For similar criticisms, see Jeske It is only in terms of the ificance of the historical relationship, Brink argues, that we can make sense of the reasons for friendship and for the concern and activity friendship demands as being agent-relative and so in this way personal rather than agent-neutral or impersonal, as for Whiting. See also Alfano,who emphasizes not just trust but trustworthiness to make similar points. One way to make sense of this is through the Aristotelian idea that friends function as a kind of mirror of each other: insofar as friendship rests on similarity of character, and insofar as I can have only imperfect direct knowledge about my own character, I can best come to know myself—both the strengths and weaknesses of my character—by knowing a friend who reflects my qualities of character.
Rather, through the friendship, and through changes in your friend over time, you may come to change your evaluative outlook, thereby in effect subordinating your commitment to certain values to your commitment to your friend. Our friends, they argue, play a more active role in shaping us, and the mirroring view fails Friends that can possibly lead to more acknowledge this. However, see Velleman for a dissenting view. Unlike similar s, Sherman explicitly includes pride and shame as emotions I sympathetically feel on behalf of my friend—a ificant addition because of the role pride and shame have in constituting our sense of ourselves and even our identities Taylor Thus, as she summarizes a passage in Aristotle b11—12 :.
In philosophical s of friendship, several themes recur consistently, although various s differ in precisely how they spell these out. In an interesting twist on standard s of the sense in which according to Aristotle, at least a friend is a mirror, Millgram claims that in mirroring my friend I am causally responsible for my friend coming to have and sustain the virtues he has.
If you benefit your friend because, ultimately, of the benefits you receive, it would seem that you do not properly love your friend for his sake, and so your relationship is not fully one of friendship after all. Most s understand that evaluation to be a matter of appraisal: we care about our friends at least in part because of the good qualities of their characters that we discover them to have Annas ; Sherman ; Whiting ; this is in line with the understanding of love as philia or eros given in the first paragraph of Section 1 above.
What parents can do to support friendships
Such a commitment on my part is clearly a commitment to her, and a relationship characterized by such a commitment on both sides is one that consistently and non-accidentally reinforces the sharing of these values. Whiting argues that such an approach fails properly to make sense of the idea that I love my friend for her sake.
It is a bit unclear what your role is in being thus directed and interpreted by your friend. Philosophers from the ancient Greeks on have traditionally distinguished three notions that can properly be called love: agapeerosand philia.
Other s, however, understand caring as in part a matter of bestowing value on your beloved: in caring about a friend, we thereby project a kind of intrinsic value onto him; this is in line with the understanding of love as agape given above. Although it is a bit unclear how to understand these distinctions, the basic idea seems to be that pleasure, utility, and virtue are the reasons we have in these various kinds of relationships for loving our friend.
Given the involvement of love in each case, all three kinds of friendship seem to involve a concern for your friend for his sake and not for your own. Moreover, Whiting argues, to understand my concern for her for her sake in terms of my concern for things for my sake raises the question of how to understand this latter concern.
Of course, Aristotle and Annas would reject this reading: friends do not merely have such similarities antecedent to their friendship as a necessary condition of friendship. One answer would be because we recognize the independent value of the interests of our friends, or that we recognize the truth of their interpretations of us. To begin, Thomas ; ; ; claims that we should understand what is here called the intimacy of friendship in terms of mutual self-disclosure: I tell my friends things about myself that I would not dream of telling Friends that can possibly lead to more, and I expect them to make me privy to intimate details of their lives.
The question facing any philosophical is how that characteristic intimacy of friendship is to be understood. Friends can be very different from each other, and although within a friendship there is a tendency for the friends to become more and more alike, this should be understood as an effect of friendship, not something constitutive of it.
In philosophical discussions of friendship, it is common to follow Aristotle Nicomachean EthicsBook VIII in distinguishing three kinds of friendship: friendships of pleasure, of utility, and of virtue. Understanding more clearly when it is proper to break off a friendship, or allow it to lapse, may well shed light on the kind of commitment and intimacy that is characteristic of friendship; nonetheless, this issue gets scant attention in the literature.
Badhwar65—66 seems to think so, claiming that the sexual involvement enters into romantic love in part through a passion and yearning for physical union, whereas friendship involves instead a desire for a more psychological identification. In each of these s of the kind of intimacy and commitment that are characteristic of friendship, we might ask about the conditions under which friendship can properly be dissolved.
These themes are: mutual caring or loveintimacy, and shared activity; these will be considered in turn. But this would not explain the role of friendship in such direction and interpretation, for we might just as easily accept such direction and interpretation from a mentor or possibly even a stranger.
Clearly the two differ insofar as romantic love normally has a kind of sexual involvement that friendship lacks; yet, as Thomas asks, is that enough to explain the real differences between them? Like the union view of love, this of friendship raises worries about autonomy. However, this raises the question of why we allow any such direction and interpretation. Although many s of friendship do not analyze such mutual caring any further, among those that do there is considerable variability as to how we should understand the kind of caring involved in friendship.
On the weak side, a sense of value is shared in the sense that a coincidence of interests and values is a necessary condition of developing and sustaining a friendship; when that happy coincidence dissipates, so too does the friendship. So Telfer and White, in appealing to such shared sense of value, are offering a somewhat richer sense of the sort of intimacy essential to friendship than Thomas and Annis.
On this reading of the mirroring view, my friend plays an entirely passive role: just by being himself, he enables me to come to understand my own character better cf.
Coping with cliques
Nonetheless, questions can be raised about precisely how to distinguish romantic relationships, grounded in erosfrom relationships of friendship, grounded in philiainsofar as each involves ificant interactions between the involved parties that stem from a kind of reciprocal love that is responsive to merit. To be directed by your friend is to allow her interests, values, etc. Friendship essentially involves a distinctive kind of concern for your friend, a concern which might reasonably be understood as a kind of love.
For further discussion, see Section 1.
For this reason, most contemporary s, by focusing their attention on the non-deficient forms of friendship, ignore pleasure and utility friendships. Nonetheless, in what follows, views will be presented roughly in order from weaker to stronger s of intimacy. Thus, your friend may admire your tenacity a trait you did not realize you hador be amused by your excessive concern for fairness, and you may come as a result to develop a new understanding of yourself, and potentially change yourself, in direct response to his interpretation of you.
And this might push us to a still stronger conception of intimacy, of the sharing of values, in terms of which we can understand why friendship grounds these norms.