It is unclear from Sherman’s interpretation of Aristotle whetherthere are principled reasons to limit the extent to which we share ouridentities with our friends; perhaps an appeal to something likeFriedman’s federation model (1998) can help resolve thesedifficulties. Friedman’s idea is that we should understandromantic love (but the idea could also be applied to friendship) notin terms of the union of the two individuals, in which theiridentities get subsumed by that union, but rather in terms of thefederation of the individuals—the creation of a third entitythat presupposes some degree of independence of the individuals thatmake it up. Even so, much would need to be done to spell out this viewsatisfactorily. (For more on Friedman’s account, see the entryon , the section on .)
But there I was the next weekend having dinner with her, and then it was every weekend. Sometimes we went out to a restaurant or hiked in the mountains. Austin’s older friends seemed confused.
One can easily see the dyadic relationship between friends....
For this reason, love and friendship often get lumped together as asingle topic; nonetheless, there are significant differences betweenthem. As understood here, love is an evaluative attitudedirected at particular persons as such, an attitude which we mighttake towards someone whether or not that love is reciprocated andwhether or not we have an established relationship with her. Friendship, by contrast, is essentially a kind ofrelationship grounded in a particular kind of special concerneach has for the other as the person she is; and whereas we must makeconceptual room for the idea of unrequited love, unrequited friendshipis senseless. Consequently, accounts of friendship tend to understandit not merely as a case of reciprocal love of some form (together withmutual acknowledgment of this love), but as essentially involvingsignificant interactions between the friends—as being in thissense a certain kind of relationship.
Friendship is defined in million ways
On this point, there is considerable variation in theliterature—so much that it raises the question whether differingaccounts aim at elucidating the same object. For it seems as thoughwhen the analysis of intimacy is relatively weak, the aim is toelucidate what might be called “acquaintance friendships”;as the analysis of intimacy gets stronger, the aim seems to tendtowards closer friendships and even to a kind of ideal of maximallyclose friendship. It might be asked whether one or another of thesetypes of friendship ought to take priority in the analysis, such that,for example, cases of close friendship can be understood to be anenhanced version of acquaintance friendship, or whether acquaintancefriendship should be understood as being deficient in various waysrelative to ideal friendship. Nonetheless, in what follows, views willbe presented roughly in order from weaker to stronger accounts ofintimacy.
Friendship is a relationship that has many dimensions and styles
To begin, Thomas (1987; 1989; 1993; 2013) claims that we shouldunderstand what is here called the intimacy of friendship in terms ofmutual self-disclosure: I tell my friends things about myself that Iwould not dream of telling others, and I expect them to make me privyto intimate details of their lives. The point of such mutualself-disclosure, Thomas argues, is to create the “bond oftrust” essential to friendship, for through such self-disclosurewe simultaneously make ourselves vulnerable to each other andacknowledge the goodwill the other has for us. Such a bond of trust iswhat institutes the kind of intimacy characteristic of friendship.(Similar ideas can be found in Annis 1987.)
Short Essay About Friendship | Major Tests
Their point is that the secrets view underestimates the kind of trustat issue in friendship, conceiving of it largely as a matter ofdiscretion. Given the way friendship essentially involves each caringabout the other’s good for the other’s sake and so actingon behalf of the other’s good, entering into and sustaining arelationship of friendship will normally involve considerabletrust in your friend’s goodwill towards you generally, and notjust concerning your secrets. Moreover, friendship will normallyinvolve trust in your friend’s judgment concerning what is inyour best interests, for when your friend sees you harming yourself,she ought, other things being equal, to intervene, and through thefriendship you can come to rely on her to do so. (See also Alfano,2016, who emphasizes not just trust but trustworthiness to makesimilar points.)