Citation Hope S (2013) Friendship, Justice, and Aristotle: Some Reasons to Be Sceptical. Res Publica, 19 (1), pp. 37-52. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11158-012-9205-3
Abstract It is sometimes held that modern institutionally-focussed conceptions of social justice are lacking in one essential respect: they ignore the importance of civic friendship or solidarity. It is also, typically simultaneously, held that Aristotle's thought provides a fertile ground for elucidating an account of civic friendship. I argue, first, that Aristotle is no help on this score: he has no conception of distinctively civic friendship. I then go on to argue that the Kantian distinction between perfect and imperfect duties is more useful than talk of civic friendship in capturing the non-institutional demands of social justice.