Angelique: An Angel in Distress, Morality in Crisis

Dialogue and Universalism 28 (2):9–48 (2018)
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Abstract

Michael H. Mitias argues that friendship is a central moral value constituting an integral part of the good life and therefore deserving a prominent place in ethical theory. He consequently calls upon ethicists to make immediate and decisive adjustments toward accommodating what he regards as a neglected organic relationship between friendship and morality. This is not a fanciful amendment to our standard conception of morality but a radical proposal grounded in a unifying vision to recapture the right way of doing ethics. While the assessment is compelling, and the plea well-placed, neither has been fully understood in the scholarly reception of Mitias. This paper clarifies both. What sets it apart from other reactions to Mitias is a holistic approach drawing on literary considerations as well as philosophical ones. The combined aim is to demonstrate that Mitias is not seeking simply to restore friendship to its rightful place in normative ethical theory, which is indeed the full extent of his formal mission, but that he is seeking to do so specifically within virtue ethics. This interpretation rests on a broad engagement with Mitias’s publications beyond the recent treatise often taken understandably yet erroneously to be his only work on the subject.

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Necip Fikri Alican
Washington University in St. Louis (PhD)

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