A Good Friend Will Help You Move a Body: Friendship and the Problem of Moral Disagreement

Philosophical Review 125 (4):473-507 (2016)
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Abstract
On the shared-­ends account of close friendship, proper care for a friend as an agent requires seeing yourself as having important reasons to accommodate and promote the friend’s valuable ends for her own sake. However, that friends share ends doesn't inoculate them against disagreements about how to pursue those ends. This paper defends the claim that, in certain circumstances of reasonable disagreement, proper care for a friend as a practical and moral agent sometimes requires allowing her judgment to decide what you are to do, even when you disagree with her judgment (and even when her judgment is in fact mistaken). In these instances, your friendship can make it the case that you may not act on your own practical and even moral judgments because, at those times, you have a duty as her close friend to defer to her judgments. As a result, treating your friend properly as a responsible agent can require that you assist her in committing what may in fact be serious moral wrongs.
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First archival date: 2015-11-11
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