Narrative Constitution of Friendship

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2 Scopus citations


We argue that friendship is constituted in the practice of narration, not merely identified through psychological or sociological criteria. We show that whether two people have, as Aristotle argues, 'lived together' in 'mutually acknowledged goodwill' can be determined only through a narrative reconstruction of a shared past. We demonstrate this with a close reading of Thomas Bernhard's Wittgenstein's Nephew: A Friendship (1982). We argue that this book provides not only an illustration but also an enactment of the practice of friendship as the urge to redeem-and thus to instantiate-Aristotelian suzên ('living together') by means of its telling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)111-130
Number of pages20
JournalDialogue-Canadian Philosophical Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Philosophy


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