Monday, June 12, 2023

On Friendship


On Friendship

Peter Schultz


            In her book Aristotle and the Philosophy of Friendship, Lorraine Smith Pangle writes the following on Montaigne’s and Aristotle’s understanding of friendship as perhaps the greatest good:


“But perhaps the very core of friendship’s goodness has nothing to do with comfort and assistance, and lies in the simple, irreducible sweetness of intimacy itself, to which Montaigne directs our attention and which Aristotle also acknowledges. The sweetness is the sweetness of expanded aliveness, an expanded sense of being, that comes with knowing and cherishing, with being known and cherished, with the vicarious but vivid experience of another’s being, and the enhanced awareness of one’s own. Such intimacy, in its peak moments, is always in some degree physical….and is always riveted in the present moment. Past, present, and all distractions melt away; one is simply there, with one’s whole being, with another, with his whole being.” [pp. 70-71]


            Friendship as a pathway to being, one’s own and that of another. And I wonder if Jane Austin, for example, isn’t writing about friendship or love in this sense, against which the glory of the British monarchy, its aristocracy, and its empire loses its glow.

No comments:

Post a Comment