Daniel Schwartz examines the views on friendship of the great medieval philosopher Thomas Aquinas. For Aquinas friendship is the ideal type of relationship that rational beings should cultivate. Schwartz argues that Aquinas fundamentally revises some of the main features of Aristotle's paradigmatic account of friendship so as to accommodate the case of friendship between radically unequal beings: man and God. As a result, Aquinas presents a broader view of friendship than Aristotle's, allowing for a higher extent of disagreement. lack of mutual understanding, and inequality between friends.
Daniel Schwartz is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Political Science and the Department of International Relations at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.