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Sociology Speaker Series: Friendship in Crisis

The Department of Sociology invites you to "Friendship in Crisis" by Dr. Daniel Coren, Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Philosophy, McMaster University.

Oct 19, 2020

Human beings are the most social of all animals. Our need and want to live together is deeper than that of any other species – deeper, even, than that of the bee. Or so Aristotle, bee enthusiast and the first biologist, argues.

Ancients from different traditions and rival schools of thought, from virtue ethicists like Confucius to hedonists like Epicurus, seem to agree that friendship is one of the greatest goods. Empirical research bears this out: studies suggest that strong friendships are enormously beneficial for our mental and physical health. At a time of isolation, social distancing, political turmoil, anxiety and depression about unemployment, sickness, and in some cases the deaths of loved ones, we might worry that friendships will dissolve precisely when we need them most. Moreover, many modern philosophers worry that friendship norms often conflict with moral norms. Drawing on recent empirical research and a reading of Aristotle’s qualified view of friendship norms, Dr. Coren argues that we have some room for optimism. Friendships may be more beneficial and accessible during a pandemic than in a time of ease.    

When: Wednesday, October 28th at 2:30pm

Where: Zoom

Register for this event by emailing