Happy Martin Luther King Day to all!
Here are a few questions about different ways friendship and freedom might be related. Does friendship (among other relationships we value) require freedom? There are several ways one might take friendship and freedom to be related. One way of seeing the connection is this: friendship must be entered into, or given, freely to either be true friendship or to be a friendship that is valuable. Robert Kane suggests this possibility in the Significance of Free Will (see Derk Pereboom, “Free Will, Love, and Anger,” for an argument on the other side). Another is that relationships like friendship involve a kind of caring and disposition to “take things personally” (as Seth Shabo, inspired by Peter Strawson, puts it in “Where Love and Resentment Meet”) such that a friend is susceptible to the reactive attitudes and so presupposes whatever freedom is required for responsibility on the part of one’s friend. A third way begins with a related, but distinct, claim about the nature of friendship, namely, that special obligations are partially constitutive of, or supervene on, or are generated by friendship. And if obligations require the ability to fulfill them, and if having such an ability requires a kind of freedom (or an important component of freedom), then friendship entails this kind of freedom (or an important component). Are the premises in this third line of reasoning plausible--one about the nature of friendship, the other about its implications for a kind of (or component of) freedom? Does it stand and fall with the second?