Andrea Baki
University of Edinburgh (PhD)
Why do we choose agent X and not Y to be our friend? I examine aspects of Aristotle’s theories of virtuous friendship and pleasure to answer this question. Specifically, I argue that pleasure is connected to the good, and has two fundamental functions for Aristotle: 1) it is a judgment of value, and 2) it accompanies good activity. Furthermore, I show that the pleasure from the good plays an instrumental role in the friendship among virtuous agents. In particular, it is a motivating coefficient in the choice of friends, among virtu-ous agents. Against a more traditional reading of Aristotle on friendship such as Nehamas, I argue that although virtue is sufficient for friendship, it is not, for Aristotle, determinant of the choice of friends. The variety of virtue which agents display gives rise to different experiences of pleasure in other agents who are themselves varyingly good between them, and acts differentially on them as an attraction. This reveals a richness of both choice and variety in the Aristotelian theory of virtuous friendship, as opposed to the monotone account of friendship that has been attributed to his ethical theory.
Keywords Conference Proceedings  Contemporary Philosophy
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ISBN(s) 978-1-63435-038-9
DOI 10.5840/wcp232018221329
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