Analysis Of Aristotle: A Self-Sufficient Friendship

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A Self-Sufficient Friendship Human beings have an intuitive sense when it comes to friendship. It simply seems natural to be in a virtuous relationship with another person. For Aristotle, the conversation deserves more than an assumption of the natural feelings in humans. He introduces the idea of self-sufficiency as a means of attaining happiness, however, there appears to be a contradiction when comparing this to the necessity of friends. He says they are both are required for happiness, but they seem to be fundamentally opposite. It sounds like the self-sufficient man shouldn’t require anything other than himself, yet Aristotle argues differently. He says that if a person is to be self-sufficient, they must also have friends (1169b). The question following such a claim does not ask why, but how is it that a perfect friendship makes a person virtuous and self-sufficient? “...the final good is thought to be self-sufficient” (1097b). Aristotle clearly explains that to seek the final good is to seek happiness, therefore, happiness is self-sufficient. This good that each …show more content…
First, the perfect friendship involves “those who wish well” for each other (1156b). When this relationship is established each person has a recognition of their own goodness because they are being loved by someone so good. With this identification comes love for the good within oneself. It’s as if the person is saying “I must be good because I am worthy of a friendship in which someone loves the good in me.” Greater self-love is naturally produced in a perfect friendship because of the goodness contained within it. Greater self-love means greater self-sufficiency and, of course, happiness. This happiness comes from the new-found self-sufficiency, not because of the friend. Therefore, a person cannot become self-sufficient unless they are in a perfect friendship of mutual virtue and

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