EGMT 1540: You Are Who You Meet - The Ethics of Friendship

This class surveys the ethics of friendship in historical perspective to explore how we make friends and the role they ought to play in shaping who we are and how we live. Consider your own friends: how can a single word encapsulate so many different relationships? What is a friend? What are they for? And how do our friends shape us? The course will survey some interesting answers to those questions from people crafting many different modes of making and staying friends. Friendship is one of the oldest topics in ethics, yet we continue to remake that tradition in new ways as we live through the epochal transformations of the internet age, social media, and a global epidemic. We will consider how these ethical traditions align with your own experiences. Gen Z is often referred to as the most connected generation, but also the loneliest: our class will assess those claims. (Cover image: Eustache Le Sueur, Réunion d’amis, c. 1640, oil on canvas, 136 x 195 cm, Paris, courtesy of the musée du Louvre.)