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Grant number: FB-58425-15

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Paul Walter Ludwig
St. John's College, Main Campus (Annapolis, MD 21401-1687)

Love, Friendship, and Family in Ancient Philosophy

Classical Greek and Roman political philosophies contain accounts of erotic, friendly and familial loves that can contribute much to current questions such as the egoism/altruism dichotomy in friendship, modern psychology's concern that parental love often has a repressive or "smothering" aspect, and the debate about the roles of nature and social construction in erotic desire. For example Aristotle, by finding egoistic roots of love in pride and even self-assertion, saves the phenomena of the destructiveness of love while showing how benefiting other people is a natural way of increasing our affection for them. When we invest our energies in persons, our attachment deepens and intensifies because we come to perceive them as extensions of ourselves. By acknowledging a real but delimited role for self-love in friendship, ancient philosophy opens partners to higher and better group interests. My project moves briskly between textual exegesis and a dialogue with modern concerns.

Project fields:
Classical Languages; Philosophy, Other; Political Theory

Fellowships for College Teachers and Independent Scholars

Research Programs

Total amounts:
$37,800 (approved)
$33,600 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2016 – 8/31/2016