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Michael H. Mitias, Friendship: A Central Moral Value

Book review by Ruth Abbey

Amsterdam - New York: Rodopi 2012. Pp. 233.
(Paper: ISBN 978-90-420-3438-9; E-book ISBN 978-94-012-0725-6)

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Abbey, R. (2013) Review of Friendship: A Central Moral Value by Mitias, M.H. AMITY: The Journal of Friendship Studies, 1:1, pp. 89-91. doi: 10.5518/AMITY/6


According to Michael Mitias, ‘no moral theory can be adequate if it does not treat friendship as a central moral value or if it does not acknowledge it as a (sic) essential ingredient of the good life’ (p.1, cf. p.197). This declaration creates the puzzle that his book explores: how is it that philosophizing in the western tradition has paid so little attention to friendship? Mitias qualifies this claim about friendship’s neglect by clarifying that theorizing about friendship stalled after the close of the Stoic period in the fourth century (pp.1-2). He further qualifies this claim by explaining that even when later writers did pay attention to friendship, they did not treat it as ‘a central moral value and … a condition of the good life.’ (p.2)

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