Eudaimonism, Love and Friendship, and Political Community*: DAVID O. BRINK

Social Philosophy and Policy 16 (1):252-289 (1999)
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It is common to regard love, friendship, and other associational ties to others as an important part of a happy or flourishing life. This would be easy enough to understand if we focused on friendships based on pleasure, or associations, such as business partnerships, predicated on mutual advantage. For then we could understand in a straightforward way how these interpersonal relationships would be valuable for someone involved in such relationships just insofar as they caused her pleasure or causally promoted her own independent interests. But many who regard love, friendship, and other associational ties as an important part of a happy or flourishing life suppose that in many sorts of associations—especially intimate associations—the proper attitude among associates is concern for the other for the other's own sake, not just for the pleasure or benefits one can extract from one's associates. It is fairly clear how having friends of this sort is beneficial. What is less clear is how being a friend of this sort might contribute to one's own happiness or well-being. Even if we can explain this, it looks as if the contribution that friendship makes to one's happiness could not be the reason one has to care for friends, for that would seem to make one's concern for others instrumental, not a concern for the other for her own sake.



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David Brink
University of California, San Diego

Citations of this work

Love.Bennett W. Helm - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
A Tripartite Theory of Love.Sam Shpall - 2018 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 13 (2).
Friendship.Bennett W. Helm - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
On having bad persons as friends.Jessica Isserow - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (12):3099-3116.

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References found in this work

The View from Nowhere.Thomas Nagel - 1986 - Revue de Métaphysique et de Morale 92 (2):280-281.
The Methods of Ethics.Henry Sidgwick - 1903 - International Journal of Ethics 13 (2):251-254.
Nicomachean Ethics.C. C. W. Taylor - 1988 - Philosophical Review 97 (2):247.
Impersonal Friends.Jennifer E. Whiting - 1991 - The Monist 74 (1):3-29.

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