chapter  5
20 Pages

Friends

Friendship relationships are immediate, tangible and for the vast majority of people a constitutive part of a flourishing life. All of us are in a sense professors of our own friendships, but the concept itself has a distinguished philosophical pedigree with Aristotle’s account remaining the locus classicus for many. My aims in this chapter are first, to defend a critical nonreductionist account of associative friendship duties against its reductionist rivals ( 5.2-5.4 ), and second, to consider how that account stands up against two variants of the respect objection to associative duties. Specifically, I examine in 5.5 the case of friends who wrong their friends, as well as friends who fail, in various ways, to respect outsiders. In examining these cases I invoke again the notion of a critical nonreductionist theory to show that there are resources from inside the theory of associative friendship duties to respond to these wrongs. Before all that, in the remainder of this section, I say a little about what friendship, as a phenomenon and a set of duties, involves.