Vices of Friendship

In Arina Pismenny & Berit Brogaard (eds.), The Moral Psychology of Love. Lanham, MD 20706, USA: pp. 231-253 (2022)
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In this paper, we argue that the neo-Aristotelian conception of “friendships of character” appears to misrepresent the essential nature of "genuine", or "true", friendship. We question the neo-Aristotelian imperative that true friendship entails disinterested love of the other “for their own sake” and strives at enhancing moral virtue. We propose an alternative conception of true friendship as involving affective and motivational features which we call closeness, intimacy, identity, and trust. Even on this minimal construal, however, friendship can turn vicious when one of its characteristics becomes overpowering and thereby destroys the very goods for which the friendship was originally sought.

Author Profiles

Berit Brogaard
University of Miami
Arina Pismenny
University of Florida


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