This essay is an exchange between friends and scholars Thomas Laqueur and Alexander Nehamas. Laqueur offers a number of possible answers to the question “Why is a dog a man’s best friend?” as he explicates and analyzes a varied historical record of archaeological evidence, philosophy, art, and literature. Laqueur builds on Aristotle’s conception of friendship as he explores what types of friendships we humans have with dogs and how such relationships may benefit both species. Nehamas responds to Laqueur’s text and Aristotle on philia as he traces the limits of human relationships with dogs as well as human friends.

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