In the 19 th century shift from virtue ethics to duty-oriented ethics, friendship and its role in ethics was marginalized. This paper explores the reason to this and examines the nature of friendship as a mutual intention of goodwill which depends upon a concrete context of particulars. This focus on contingent particulars makes friendship incompatible with Enlightenment ethics, but enables friendship to play two significant roles in moral development. These roles are explored as is the place of friendship in virtue ethics. Finally, it is argued that the account of friendship from virtue ethics is confirms our ordinary experience of the significance of friendship in our lives.