Aristotle 's Views Of Friendship Essay

1018 Words Nov 27th, 2015 null Page
Aristotle 's discussion of friendship implies his fundamental view of human beings as social beings. Even if a man had everything else like wealth, fame, virtue, and so on he still could not lead a happy life without friends. Friendship is thus a necessity for the good life in Aristotle 's view. Yet friendship in the genuine sense is not merely a superficial exchange of pleasantries; it is much deeper.
While Aristotle does discuss friendships based on usefulness or on pleasure, he does not consider these to be friendship in the genuine sense. True friendship is based on virtue, and requires wishing the good for the other. Wishing the good for a person in the Aristotelian sense is not at all a vague and sentimental concept. Primarily, wishing the good for someone means helping him to be virtuous, for it is by being virtuous that a person will be genuinely happy, as established in Book One. For this reason, friendship is what many natural law theorists call a genuine human good, something in human life which it is natural for people to seek because it fulfills an intrinsic human need and is an end in itself. As relational beings, people need genuine friends in order to live a fulfilled human life.
Conflicts often arise in friendship because one of the parties does not get what he desires out of the friendship, usually when one person thinks that what he is receiving is not of equal worth to what he is giving. Yet who is to decide the worth of what is given or received? In…

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