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03 Aug
Cathedral
Event Type

Defenses

Target Audience

Faculty, Graduate Students

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Dissertation Defense-Lawrence Philpot

"The Elements of Aristotelian Philia"

Dissertation Abstract: Aristotelian philia (“friendship”) is a complex phenomenon involving such diverse emotional, rational, evaluative, and motivational elements that it can be difficult to see how to put the pieces together. Aristotle himself brings together nearly the full range of elements in a remarkably rich passage in Nicomachean Ethics VIII.5. I use this passage as a guide in developing an account of hexis (“state”) as the organizing principle of philia. This passage involves a contrast between philia and philesis (“fondness”), and I begin by arguing that philesis itself is a more interesting and complex emotional condition than has been recognized. I then partly use this account of philesis to argue that the consensus interpretation of the passage in NE VIII.5 is mistaken. Aristotle appeals to the involvement of prohairesis (“decision”) in philia to argue that philia is a hexis, and most commentators take Aristotle to refer to a kind of decision to reciprocate love that forms a philia. I argue that Aristotle rather has in mind the decisions which friends make regarding the good of each other within the context of philia. I then explain how such decisions imply that philia is a hexis by arguing that Aristotle recognizes a distinction between ways of having boulēsis (“wish”): The kind of boulēsis that is required for prohairesis must be had as a hexis, although not all boulesis is like this. Thus I argue that philia is, roughly, being fond of one’s friend and having as a hexis on the basis of which one acts by prohairesis boulēsis for the good of one’s friend. Finally, I argue that this account of philia as a hexis helps us to further appreciate the way in which character philia, out of Aristotle’s three forms of philia, is primary: It is the only form in which one is related to the good of one’s friend—rather than one’s own pleasure or utility— in such a way that one’s relationship is itself appropriately called a hexis.

 

 

Dial-In Information

Please contact the Graduate Administrator: frs38@pitt.edu for Zoom link. 

Tuesday, August 3 at 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Virtual Event

Dissertation Defense-Lawrence Philpot

"The Elements of Aristotelian Philia"

Dissertation Abstract: Aristotelian philia (“friendship”) is a complex phenomenon involving such diverse emotional, rational, evaluative, and motivational elements that it can be difficult to see how to put the pieces together. Aristotle himself brings together nearly the full range of elements in a remarkably rich passage in Nicomachean Ethics VIII.5. I use this passage as a guide in developing an account of hexis (“state”) as the organizing principle of philia. This passage involves a contrast between philia and philesis (“fondness”), and I begin by arguing that philesis itself is a more interesting and complex emotional condition than has been recognized. I then partly use this account of philesis to argue that the consensus interpretation of the passage in NE VIII.5 is mistaken. Aristotle appeals to the involvement of prohairesis (“decision”) in philia to argue that philia is a hexis, and most commentators take Aristotle to refer to a kind of decision to reciprocate love that forms a philia. I argue that Aristotle rather has in mind the decisions which friends make regarding the good of each other within the context of philia. I then explain how such decisions imply that philia is a hexis by arguing that Aristotle recognizes a distinction between ways of having boulēsis (“wish”): The kind of boulēsis that is required for prohairesis must be had as a hexis, although not all boulesis is like this. Thus I argue that philia is, roughly, being fond of one’s friend and having as a hexis on the basis of which one acts by prohairesis boulēsis for the good of one’s friend. Finally, I argue that this account of philia as a hexis helps us to further appreciate the way in which character philia, out of Aristotle’s three forms of philia, is primary: It is the only form in which one is related to the good of one’s friend—rather than one’s own pleasure or utility— in such a way that one’s relationship is itself appropriately called a hexis.

 

 

Dial-In Information

Please contact the Graduate Administrator: frs38@pitt.edu for Zoom link. 

Tuesday, August 3 at 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Virtual Event

Event Type

Defenses

Target Audience

Faculty, Graduate Students