The paper identifies a distinctive feature of friendship. Friendship, it is argued, is a relationship between two people in which each participant values the other and successfully communicates this fact to the other. This feature of friendship, it is claimed, explains why friendship plays a key role in human happiness, why it is praised by philosophers, poets, and novelists, and why we all seek friends. Although the characterization of friendship proposed here differs from other views in the literature, it is shown that it accommodates key insights of other writers on the topic. Thus, in accordance with the Aristotelian strategy the paper employs, it is shown that the account on offer preserves the received opinions on friendship.
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