Kinship and intimacy.

SelectedWorks Author Profiles:

Hugh LaFollete

Document Type


Publication Date





We think about personal relationships in two distinct ways. The first focuses on relationships between blood relatives: parents and their children, siblings, and perhaps first cousins. The second focuses on intimacy: relationships where each individual is honest to and trusting of the other; each cares for the other and seeks the other’s company. In this article I ask how these two conceptions are, can be, or should be linked. Should we strive to make all relationships with kin intimate? Even if the answer is a qualified “No,” does that mean relationships with kin are not valuable? I offer some tentative answers to these questions. Despite its limitations, I hope this provides a framework from which future exploration of these issues might profitably begin.


This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.




Norges Teknisk-Naturvitenskapelige Universitet. Programme for Applied Ethics

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.