We learned about the rarity of what Aristotle calls “soul friendship” or what Emerson calls “divine” friendship. Most philosophers concur that cultivating such a friendship requires an openness to it, an awareness that it will not likely occur, and a stringent honesty and affection.
In this week’s reading material, the following philosophers discuss their views on this topic: Saint Augustine, Aristotle, Plato, Kierkegaard, Kant and Thomas of Aquinas. Make sure to incorporate their views as you answer each discussion question. Think about how their views may be similar or different from your own. In at least 350 words total, please answer each of the following, drawing upon your reading materials and your personal insight:
- If “soul friendships” represent our highest attainment of friendship and require great honesty and pure love, what might be our ethical obligation to attempt to nurture such friendships?
- Analyze, drawing upon examples from your own life, whether such friendships are possible and explain some of the ethical considerations that accompany them.
Vernon, M. (2010). The Meaning of Friendship. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.
Chapter 5: Unconditional Love
Chapter 8: The Spirituality of Friendship
De Amicitia – On Friendship. Cicero (Links to an external site.) (1923). Retrieved from http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Cicero/Laelius_de_Amicitia/text*.html