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Friendship as a Way of Life

Organizing Committee:

From Antiquity to Modern Day, thinkers have returned to the question, "What is friendship?"  In our modern era of social networking, "friending" and "unfriending" has thrown friendship into a sea of confusion: what is a friend, after all?  
In this class, we will study as a group theories of friendship from classical thinkers to contemporary ideas of friendship.  We will consider how a deep examination of these ideas can help to not only strengthen our existing relationships, but also help to build solidarity across lines of gender, race, class, and culture.
For our first meeting, Wednesday September 18th, we'll discuss Michel Foucault's "Friendship As A Way Of Life," and also discuss what texts on friendship are most interesting to class participants.

Going forward, we will not only study and discuss ideas of friendship, but attempt to write our own contribution to the field, as individuals, as a group, as, well, "friends" perhaps.

Possible texts include:

Plato, Lysis

Plato, Symposiuim

Aristotle, Nicomachaean Ethics

Epictetus, Discourses 2.22

Cicero, De Amicitia

Plutarch, On Having Many Friends

Plutarch, On Brotherly Love

Plutarch, Dialogue on Love

Seneca, On Philosophy and Friendship

David Halperin, One Hundred Years of Homosexuality and other essays on Greek Love

Augustine, Confessions, Book IV

Bonnie Honig, Antigone, Interrupted (last chapter)

A.W. Price, Love and Friendship in Plato

Gadamer, Ergon and Logon in Plato’s Lysis

Aelred of Rievaulx, Spiritual Friendship

Aelred of Reivaulx, The Mirror of Charity, book 3

Adel Fiske, Aelred of Rievaulx’s Idea of Friendship

Thomas Aquinas, Questions on Love and Charity

Montaigne, Of Friendship

Francis Bacon, Of Friendship

Kant, Lecture on Friendship

Ralph Waldo Emerson, Friendship

Nuha Al-Shaar, Friendship in the Political Thought of Al-Tawhidi and his Contemporaries

Al-Tawhidi, Al-Sadaqa wa Sadiq

Henry David Thoreau, On Friendship

George Simmel, The Sociology of Sociability

Rob Fitterman, Now We Are Friends

Dewey and Rifkin, Among Friends: Engendering The Social Site of Poetry

Frank o’Hara, Personism

Lytle Shaw, On Coterie

Chris Nealon, The Dial

Elinor Ostrom, Trust and Reciprocity: Interdisciplinary Lessons from Experimental Research

Peter Discioli, Friendship

Jacques Derrida, Politics of Friendship

Jacques Derrida and Helene Cixous, Veils

Michel Foucault, Friendship as a Way Of Life

Jean Luc-Nancy, Inoperative Community

Jean Luc-Nancy, Being Singular Plural

Giorgio Agamben, Friendship

Richard Rorty, The Historicity of Psychological Attitudes

Charles Stivale, Folds of Friendship

Laurence Blum, Friendship, Altruism, and Morallity

Peter Railton, Alienation, Consequentialism, and the Demands of Morality

Laurence Thomas, Friendship

Leonora Halstead, Friendship

Peter Singer, Practical Ethics

Invisible Committee, “Find Each Other” from The Coming Insurrection

Diane Jeske, Friendship, Virtue, and Impartiality

Gilles Tiberghien, Amities

Todd May, Friendship in an Age of Economics

Clement X Clementine, Against the Couple Form

Marilyn Friedman, Feminism and Modern Friendship

Mary Lyndon Shanley, Marital Slavery and Friendship

Lilian Faderman, Surpassing The Love Of Men

Emma Bee Bernstein and Nona Aronowitz, Girl Drive

Eve Sedgwick, Between Men





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