First-Year Seminar: Friendship

This seminar undertakes a philosophical examination of the nature and value of friendship. Two questions will animate the course: What is a friend? And, why are friends valuable? Drawing examples from literature and films, we will examine different types of friendships and the features that characterize and sustain them. Many philosophers have argued that the best kind of friendship is one in which the friend is loved for her own sake; we will consider whether this is truly possible or whether all friendships are ultimately instrumental. We'll also examine how the partiality inherent in friendship conflicts with the demands of standard moral theories. Finally, we will compare the love that characterizes friendship with the feelings that sustain relationships with parents, children, and lovers.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 15

Prerequisites: None. Open to First-Years only.

Instructor: Gartner

Distribution Requirements: REP - Religion, Ethics, and Moral Philosophy

Other Categories: FYS - First Year Seminar

Typical Periods Offered: Fall

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered

Notes: Registration in this section is restricted to students selected for the Wellesley Plus Program. Mandatory Credit/Non Credit.