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The history of philosophy features as many great questions as it does great thinkers. A set of questions affecting us all are those surrounding friendship. Philosophers have asked, for instance:

Are friends valuable, and if so in what does friendship's value consist? Do friends make us morally better? Do they inherently make us happier? Do they make us better off in some other way? Are there costs to friendship? And are they worth the cost?

This collection comprises several papers from students on these questions and excerpts from the philosophical works they engage. These papers were selected by students and the professor, Ian D. Dunkle, from among those submitted as an assignment for CAS PH 110 A1 Great Philosophers (Spring 2019) at Boston University.

Contents of Collection

  1. Introduction — Ian D. Dunkle

  2. Original Essays

  3. a. Abdullah Al Kudsi "Valuable Indulgence: A Response to Schopenhauer and Social Pessimism"

    b. Katherine Byrd "A Reflection on Moral Maxims"

    c. Nathan Ho "Schopenhauer’s Disvalue of Society"

    d. Esther Kang "The Moral Preconditions for Friendship: A Middle Ground between Aristotle, Cicero, and Nehamas"

    e. Adam Salachi "Self-Reflection through Genuine Friends: Expanding the Schopenhauerian Conception"

  4. Selected Readings

  5. a. Cicero, On Friendship (abridged)

    b. Epictetus, selections from Discourses

    c. François La Rochefoucauld, Reflections; or Sentences and Moral Maxims (abridged)

    d. Arthur Schopenhauer, selections from essays on suffering and the wisdom of life

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