Once thought to be indespensible to a good life, the value of friendship has been swept away by the most recent trends in philosophical, literary, and legal thought. After tracing the subtle decline in the value of friendship, this Article employs these very trends to redefine and resurrect that value, particularly within American law. A good work of art is one which elevates its own art-form by successfully channeling the anxiety of influence created by competing art forms. A good judicial opinion, therefore, is one which elevates the art of judging above strong competing arts such as philosophy and literature. Friendship can bee seen as the relationship which is created among artists through their work. The judge who elevates the art of judging is a good friend to all other judges. This redefinition of friendship has philosophical, political, and aesthetic value. Those past literary and legal works which have been considered to be "great" are indeed "great" precisely because they elevate their particular art forms above competing art forms. Even our best judges today have been unable to channel the very real influences of contemporary philosophic and literary thought into an elevation of the art of judging. Professor Kaufman concludes by suggesting a strategy which contemporary judges may employ to channel these influences into an evaluation of the judicial art.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/michael_kaufman/6/