The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

Civic friendship and thin citizenship

Bentley, Russell (2011) Civic friendship and thin citizenship Res Publica, pp. 1-24.

Record type: Article

Abstract

Contemporary appeals for a deepening of civic friendship in liberal democracies often draw on Aristotle. This paper warns against a certain kind of attempt to use Aristotle in our own theorising, namely accounts of civic friendship that characterise it as similar in some way to Aristotelian virtue friendship. The most prominent of these attempts have focused on disinterested mutual regard as a basic ingredient in all Aristotelian forms of friendship. The argument against this is that it inadequately accounts for the idea of a virtue friend as another self, which we find in Aristotle’s thought. When we attend closely to that, we see that civic friendship is different in a fundamental way from virtue friendship because virtue friends are keenly committed to the moral improvement of one another. It is argued that Aristotle does not see civic friendship in the same way. However, if this argument about the differences between the forms of friendship cannot be accepted, the paper argues that we should not draw on Aristotle for an understanding of civic friendship because any similarity it might have to virtue friendship would license illiberal interventions in the lives of citizens in service of some idea of moral improvement. A seeming connection between Aristotelian civic friendship and thick conceptions of citizenship is replaced with a connection between it and thinner conceptions

PDF Bentley_Friendship_(final).pdf - Author's Original
Restricted to Repository staff only
Download (187kB)

More information

Submitted date: 2011
Additional Information: Due for publication January 2013
Organisations: Politics & International Relations

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 202915
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/202915
ISSN: 1356-4765
PURE UUID: f9376025-8b62-4de3-978b-968167a90463

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 10 Nov 2011 11:21
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 11:09

Export record

Contributors

Author: Russell Bentley

University divisions

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton: eprints@soton.ac.uk

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/cgi/oai2

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.

×