Friendship, Trust and Moral Self-PerfectionSkip other details (including permanent urls, DOI, citation information)
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This paper develops an account of moral friendship that both draws on and revises Kant’s conception of moral friendship for the purpose of explaining how trusting and being trusted in the way that Kant describes supports moral self-perfection beyond increased self-knowledge and refinement of judgment. I will argue that cultivation of the virtues of friendship is important to the pursuit of moral self-perfection, specifically with respect to combatting the unsociable side of our unsociable sociability. Reciprocal trust shelters the individual’s predisposition to goodness, which comes under attack by the passions in social relations wherein distrust is the default. Reciprocal trust also enables communion, the importance of which has been undervalued in analyses of moral self-perfection.