By H. Blatterer
This ebook conceptualises the lived adventure of intimacy in an international within which the phrases and prerequisites of affection and friendship are more and more doubtful. It indicates that the research of the 'small international' of dyads may give very important clues approximately society and its gendered make-up.
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Extra resources for Everyday Friendships: Intimacy as Freedom in a Complex World
27), to live autonomous lives. The freedom we find to express ourselves in our intimate relationships, and so the very meaning of intimacy depends on the cultural and social infrastructure in which it finds nourishment – on ideas and practices that change over time, are valued today, or are without power to stir the social imagination tomorrow. Adam Smith saw in friendship the possibility to grease the wheels of commerce; the early Romantics saw in it yet another way to express their subjective sensibilities and to counter the coldness of contract and instrumental reason that threatened to corrode the ties that bind.
Modern friendship and the Romantic ideal In his lectures on Romanticism, Isaiah Berlin called it ‘the largest recent movement to transform the lives and the thought of the Western world’, precipitating ‘a great break in European consciousness’ (2001 , pp. 1, 8). And in a passage that condenses disparate artistic and philosophical enterprises, he argues that early Romanticism – whether in Victor Hugo or the Schlegels, Goethe or Tieck, Coleridge or Byron, whether in Britain, France, Italy, or Germany – was unified by a particular kind of idealism made up of ‘such values as integrity, sincerity, readiness to sacrifice one’s life to some inner light, dedication to some ideal for which it is worth sacrificing all that one is, for which it is worth living and dying’ (2001, p.
This kind of intimacy – whether fictitious or real – could only enter the heart of private life once the family had come to be perceived as sufficiently independent from political and economic exigencies to facilitate its institutionalization based on justice and affection (Honneth, 2007b). The tensions between the justice model of the family that codifies rights and obligations and a model of intimacy based on mutual respect, care, and affection remain to this day, and thus call for an increased capacity to articulate and negotiate relationships; they characterize Modernity, Intimacy, and Friendship 27 intimacy in the modern sense.