Willow Verkerk – Friendship, Love and Women


Event Date: 9 March 2017

Chelsea Lecture Theatre
University of the Arts London
John Islip Street
London, SW1P 4JU

The Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy (CRMEP) presents:

Dr Willow Verkerk (Kingston) – Friendship, Love and Women

Nietzsche writes that woman is not yet capable of friendship and he connects this incapacity to a lack of generosity from men. He argues that women, who are more likely to be possessed and assimilated in love relationships, over-identify with their lover and cannot move into a position of friendship. When Simone de Beauvoir states that the entire reality of a woman is found in her male partner, she makes a very similar claim to Nietzsche’s: that the love a woman has for her partner is an all-encompassing faith. Derrida echoes Nietzsche when he writes that women lack both freedom and equality and, as such, are not able to be friends. This lecture will examine how friendship differs from love. It will question the extent to which friendship privileges one gender over the other. Setting out from the writings of Aristotle, Montaigne, Kant and Nietzsche, in order to trace the development of the problem of friendship in the history of philosophy, the lecture will then draw upon the reflections of Derrida, Beauvoir, and Irigaray to illuminate the specific challenges that woman as lover has in her attempts to be the friend.

Introduction by Dr Marsha Bradfield (Chelsea):




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