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So That’s What Friends are For


Dr. Matthew Bianco


Presented at the CiRCE National Conference 2023.

Friends are powerful companions, aiding us or harming us in the pursuit of happiness and the Good. In the same way that friends can aid or harm us, we are friends to them, and we can aid or harm them in their pursuit of the highest good. The classical and medieval worlds, more than any others, have written much about friendship, sometimes quite explicitly. Cicero has a whole essay “On Friendship.” Aristotle has whole sections in his writings on friendship. In this talk, Dr. Matthew Bianco will start even earlier than those authors. Looking at the wisdom of Aesop’s Fables, we will consider what friendship is and how to enter into it well. What we learn from Aesop will help us not only to be better friends ourselves, but will also give us a collection of stories that can help us help our students in their own friendships.