Friendship Beyond Reason

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The ancient philosophers aimed to turn us away from thinking about particularizing affection to thinking about justifiable human relations. The aim of their protreptic discourses was to get their readers, who were citizens, sons, and fathers, to think about their lives by putting these relations into question. I show how this conversion works and explore its political consequences by reading the accounts of friendship in Plato, Aristotle, and Cicero, and then comparing those accounts with the views on the causes and justifications of human relations of Rousseau, of Christians and post-Christian Kantians, and of the Hebrew Bible and its Rabbinic commentators.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)807-821
Number of pages15
JournalEuropean Legacy
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2023


  • Aristotle
  • Cicero
  • Martha Nussbaum
  • Plato
  • friendship
  • love

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Philosophy


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