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Aristotle, Montaigne, Kant and the Others: How Friendship Came to be Conceived as it is Conceived in the Western Tradition

Aristotle, Montaigne, Kant and the Others: How Friendship Came to be Conceived as it is Conceived in the Western Tradition
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Author(s): Suzanne Marie Stern-Gillet (University of Bolton, Bolton, UK)
Copyright: 2019
Volume: 10
Issue: 1
Pages: 13
Source title: International Journal of Technoethics (IJT)
Editor(s)-in-Chief: Rocci Luppicini (University of Ottawa, Canada)
DOI: 10.4018/IJT.2019010105

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Abstract

Concepts of inter-personal relations are most elusive. They conceal assumptions, norms, beliefs and various associated notions, and become even more opaque and potent when they transcend the language in which they are used and come to reflect a culture or a tradition. Escaping the critical gaze of those “in” the tradition, these concepts and their theoretical baggage remain largely alien to those outside it. This gap fosters a sense of alienation, if not of exclusion, on the part of those living outside what they often regard as a charmed circle. No doubt, friendship is unlikely to figure on the danger list of such concepts. Yet, the concept is not innocent. It reflects philosophical and social presuppositions accumulated in the course of its long history and bears the weight of the paradigm shifts it underwent. This essay identifies some of these presuppositions built into it, outlines major steps in its development, and offers reasons why this particulate inter-personal relation came to be conceived the way it is conceived in “the Western tradition”.

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