Kant Friendship Essay

1330 Words6 Pages
Kant explains friendship as a means of reconciling two conflicting "motives to action in man": self-love and love of humanity. Kant explains that they conflict, because in order to gain you lose and vice versa. “When you act out of self-love, you lose moral merit; when you act out of love of humanity, you are neglecting your own happiness” stated by Kant. Nevertheless, when deciding whether to choose self-love or friendship both are a bad choice according to Kant. “Here friendship comes in; but how are we to proceed?” quoted by Kant. Kant identifies three types of friendship which are based on different principles of action; such as needs, tastes, and dispositions. “The friendship of need comes about when men can trust one another in the…show more content…
Kant deemed this type of friendship as a “pseudo friendship” meaning a not so genuine friendship. This is the most questionable type of friendship due to the basis in which it is built upon. It involves the pleasure we develop from each other 's company and not from each other 's happiness. People of the same background and profession in life are less likely to form such a friendship than people of different careers. Kant goes on to say “one scholar will not form a friendship of taste with another; because their capacities are identical; they cannot entertain or satisfy one another, for what one knows, the other knows too. But a scholar can form such a friendship with a businessman or a soldier”. For an example, a lawyer may not inquire friendship from a baseball player but he will inquire a friendship from a doctor. Kant then explains that “Provided the scholar is not a pedant and the businessman not a blockhead, each of them can talk entertainingly to the other about his own subject. I am not attracted to another because he has what I already possess, but because he can supply some want of mine by supplementing that in which I am lacking. In other words, variety and not uniformity is the source of the friendship of taste." Certain people are able to find happiness out of another persons experiences in which they lack. They thrive off of the conversation which they know little about to enhance…show more content…
In this friendship neither individual requires anything from the other. “There is no question here of any service, or of any demand. The friendship is one of pure, genuine disposition, and is friendship in the absolute sense.” This friendship has no limits or requirements and the individuals within the friendship can throve and deem each other worthy of true friendship. “The point of special importance is this. In ordinary social intercourse and association we do not enter completely into the social relation. The greater part of our disposition is withheld; there is no immediate outpouring of all our feelings, dispositions and judgments. We voice only the judgments that seem advisable in the circumstances. A constraint, a mistrust of others, rests upon all of us, so that we withhold something, concealing our weaknesses to escape contempt, or even withholding our opinions” according to Kant. Though this friendship is the purest of them all Kant believes we should try to open up and be authentic. Kant states that if we can free our constraints meaning fears and give our hearts whole heartedly “we achieve complete communion. That this release may be achieved, each of us needs a friend, one in whom we can confide unreservedly, to whom we can disclose completely all our dispositions and judgments, from whom we can and need hide nothing, to whom we can communicate our whole self. On
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