2009 Abstracts Stage 2

“Kill Me and Save Yourself!” How Friendship Affects Morality

Adam Young, 2009, Stage 2

In my project I will discuss how the relationship between friends affects our ability to make objective moral decisions. In doing so I hope to clarify some of the philosophical positions on friendship and assess my own views philosophically in order to attain whether moral theories should devote specific attention to this idea.

The object for my project is the documentary film “Touching the Void”. This film tells the story of two friends who set out to climb the previously un-summited west face of “Siula Grande” in the Peruvian mountains. In doing so both friends were plunged into a life and death struggle and one was forced to make an arduous decision to end his friend’s life.

The philosophers I will use in my project are;
• Aristotle, who writes explicitly on the conditions of complete friendship in his book
“Nicomachean Ethics”
• Hegel, most importantly his concept of recognition and how that is affected by
friendship and how this in turn affects his moral theory
• Hobbes, the idea of rational egoism and how friendship is affected by this

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