Daily Archives: May 21, 2016

Seneca to Lucilius: on true and false friendship

Friendship[see here for a brief introduction to this ongoing series]

The third letter to Lucilius is on the topic of friendship, and here Seneca advises his pal┬áto tread carefully and make important distinctions. To begin with, he says that one cannot decouple friendship from trust: if one doesn’t trust another person, then one cannot reasonably say that that person is a friend. However, the relationship between friendship and trust is cast by Seneca in the following manner:

“When friendship is settled, you must trust; before friendship is formed, you must pass judgment.” (III.2)

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