Returning friendship to ethics: a Nierzschean perspectiv

Alan Wat

Resumo


Despite its prominence in Greek ethical theory, friendship has generally been ignored by modern ethicists; and since most of the recent attempts  to revive it have been Aristotelian in inspiration, the impression of a straight choice between ancient and modern perspectives has actually been re-enforced by contemporary efforts at rehabilitation. In this paper I aim to complicate the debate by adding a third –Nietzschean – perspective, which cannot be subsumed within the ancient/modern dichotomy and which offers a way of connecting friendship and ethics very different from Aristotle’s. For whereas Aristotelianism sees ethics as a search for the good life and character friendship as contributing to thecreation of a shared understanding of the good, Nietzsche sees ethics as an arena of contest between different ways of valuing and “self-overcoming”, and character friendship as a process of challenge by which we push each other further along our own very different paths. The paper compares a Nietzschean way of linking ethics and friendship with the approaches of contemporary neo-Aristotelians, especiallyMacIntyre, and argues that Nietzsche’s pluralism  allows him to escape modern ethical theory’s powerful objections to (neo-)Aristotelianism. A Nietzschean approach therefore offers, I conclude, a far more credible way of reconnecting ethics and friendship in our sceptical modern worl

Palavras-chave


Friendship; Nietzsche; MacIntyre; Aristotelianism; Contest; Pluralis

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5007/%25x

          

 

 

ethic@. Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Florianópolis, SC, Brasil, eISSN 1677-2954

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This work is licensed under a  Creative Commons Atribuição-NãoComercial-SemDerivações 4.0 Internacional