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Social Freedom and the Value(s) of Friendship

Shay Welch

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Welch, S. (2013) Social Freedom and the Value(s) of Friendship. AMITY: The Journal of Friendship Studies, 1:1, pp. 53-68. doi: 10.5518/AMITY/4


This article adds to the debate about the limits of liberalism by arguing that there is a third sphere of freedom that should be considered alongside the public and private spheres. This social sphere of freedom is where individuals engage with one another, sometimes via institutions, in order to pursue interests that cannot be achieved on their own. The social values of this sphere fall under the umbrella of friendship, where friendship norms are ideal for grounding free social relations, are plausible for a relationship that ranges from friendly strangers to more
intimate associations, and provides a flexibility able to accommodate different ways of connecting with each other.

Keywords: friendship, toleration, decency, social freedom

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