Faction & Friendship: The Role of Aristotelian Friendship in American Democracy




Eatherly, Geron

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In Federalist 10, James Madison proposed a large Republic as his solution to mitigate the destructive power of majority faction and to avoid tyranny of the majority. However, Madison's solution is a negative one; instead of telling us what to do, he tells us what to avoid. While Madison's solution has succeeded and tyranny of the majority has been avoided, we are left residual problems related to factional conflict; conflict framing, partisan sorting, and negative partisanship. These factors make solving modern problems such as climate change incredibly difficult. In this thesis, I argue that Aristotelian friendship and goodwill are needed to supplement the weaknesses inherent in Madison's negative solution to the problem of faction. Ultimately, friendship and goodwill break down the barrier between "self" and "other," and provide us with a much needed mechanism to tackle our modern problems.


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American democracy, Aristotelian friendship, Faction



Political Science and Geography