What Do We Owe Our Parents? Essay
Jane English's view on The duties of Friendship is that certain terms like "owe" and "repay" are used with the term "favor," but friendship should be characterized by mutuality rather than reciprocity and favors to be repaid. Friends offer what they can give and accept what they need leaving out total regard for the amounts of benefits exchanged. The idea of friendship is motivated by love rather than the idea of repayment. Unlike debts created by favors, duties of friendships do not require equal quantities of sacrifice. Friends are motivated by affection while many who perform favors are motivated by mutual gain. The talk of "owing" is significantly out of place in a friendship because the duties performed are out of kindness and love for friends and now just wishing for repayment or a new friendship.
English gives many examples of the different kind of circumstances during relationships between acquaintances, friends, and parents and their children. Her position on Parents and Children is that the relationship should be one of friendship characterized by mutuality rather than one of reciprocal favors. (p.695) Parental sacrifices are irrelevant in determining what duties the grown child has. What