Aristotle's Virtue Of Friendship

Improved Essays
Aristotle first addresses the topic of friendship in the first chapter of Book VIII of Nicomachean Ethics by establishing its importance claiming that “it is most necessary for our life. For no one would choose to live without friends” (119). Having discussed virtues in the previous chapter, Aristotle links his definition of friendship to the latter topic claiming that friendship is the act of loving by bonding through mutual respect and virtue. Aristotle proves his argument on the nature and purpose of friendship by discussing the different types of friendships, equality in friendship and the relationship between how we love ourselves and how we love others in friendship.

Aristotle defines friendship through Chapter VIII and IX as the
…show more content…
In other words friendship consists of a mutual feeling of goodwill between two people. Aristotle claims there are three key features in friendship: utility, pleasure, and goodness. Friendship that consists of utility consists in the mutual benefits between both people in the friendship. The second quality of friendship is pleasure. This feature of friendship claims that both people are drawn to the other’s pleasant qualities. Both friendship based on utility and pleasure are only temporary since one’s person pleasures and utility “does not remain the same, but is different at different times” (121). Goodness is the final quality of friendship and is more long lasting as it involves the admiration of one another’s goodness and helps one another strive for goodness. When speaking on friendship, Aristotle argues that the idea of equality is important in any type of friendship. One sense of friendship that is mentioned is the relationship between father and son, and its inequality. Aristotle argues that “whenever children accord to their parents what they must accord to those who gave them birth” (127). In these types of friendships such as the relationship between a parent and his/her child, the subject …show more content…
Aristotle argues that friendship is a means to other parts of the human good, as it helps us acquire and express virtue. Friendship is a necessity to human nature because a virtuous person needs to share his virtues, wealth, and honors with others in order to reach the highest level of happiness. One cannot be happy without personal relationships achieved through friendships. Aristotle claims “for without friends no one would choose to live, though he had all other goods” (119), and “friendships seems too to hold states together” (119) , meaning that friendship does not only affect one personally but having friendships is a matter of life and death and the overall flow, and balance of the state. Friendship is necessary not only because it determines the happiness of one soul but the happiness of every soul

Related Documents

  • Improved Essays

    He does propose that a friendship based on pleasure resembles the virtuous friendship, because the individuals in these relationships aim to be pleasant to each other (126, section 4). However, a friendship based on the goods an agent has to give is depicted as a bad friendship. Arguably, because the agent is being utilized, and there is no mutual desire/awareness of generating goodwill for the friend themselves (121, 1156). Furthermore, the friendship of utility is considered a lesser friendship, because it would be coined as a fellowship. Arguably, because the individuals involved share an equal interest towards obtaining something of benefit, and that the individuals see one-another as a useful resource for attaining a desired end.…

    • 1816 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Carlos E. Ruiz April 19, 2016 Philosophy 202 The Relation of Friendship and Virtue In Book VIII of the Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle says “After what we have said, a discussion of friendship would naturally follow, since it is a virtue or implies virtue, and is besides most necessary with a view to living.” Firstly, Aristotle is saying that friendship is a virtue and secondly, he is saying that friendship is a necessity. A virtue is the state of moral life or behavior that aims at a good end. Friendship therefore, relies on the good and depends on the affections of the persons involved. The perfect friendship is based on goodness and goodness is a virtue, therefore, friendship is a virtue. According to Aristotle, only the friendship of good men is the most high and perfect.…

    • 672 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Great Essays

    Aristotle's Virtues

    • 1568 Words
    • 6 Pages

    The first is friendship based on utility and this is where both people benefit from each other. The second is based on pleasure and this is where both people are drawn to each other’s good qualities. Lastly, is friendship based on goodness and this is where both people admire the other’s goodness and strive for goodness. In my opinion, the last example of friendship is the most important and holds the most value. According to Aristotle, goodness is an enduring quality and friendships based on this tend to last.…

    • 1568 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Improved Essays

    A person expects a friend to grow, care and love overtime within the friendship. Both Aristotle and Cicero believed in the classical concept of friendship, whereas friendship occurs when two virtuous and moral people similar or equal in how they contribute happiness to their lives. Universal rules and internal morality of the friendship is explored on its own and through the ideas in the works of Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics and Cicero’s On Friendship (De…

    • 993 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    In the case of the epic poem of the Odyssey, the main value send to the reader is hospitality. For the author, hospitality represents a way in identify the character and the way those characters behave. The aspect of how hospitable they are gives the reader a sense of a good or evil character. As mentioned in the examples, Telemachus and princess Nausicaa, are part of the good characters; they show that being helpful to others is more important than having all the power and money in the world. However the same theme shows that not all the times people will be grateful for what they way and will do the complete opposite thing of being hospitable.…

    • 1240 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Great Essays

    Friendship is based on self-love and on a willingness to look out for the good of others. It is clear that both believe that friendship derives from virtue. However, Cicero notes that the only friendship in existence, which is the friendship of excellence can be made with virtuous people, while Aristotle believes that there are other forms of friendships such as friendship of utility and pleasure, made with people who seek virtue. In order to produce a stable form of friendship, virtue is needed, which is the habit of choosing the mean between the extremes of excess and deficiency with regard to some action or emotion. Eclectic Cicero often bring up the Epicurean view on friendship and dismisses it.…

    • 1786 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Nicomachean Ethics: Why Friendship is Essential and Not Fickle In book VIII of Nicomachean Ethics Aristotle expounds upon the concept of friendship. In order to understand all that Aristotle means by friendship one must first know that there are three categories of friendship: friendship of utility, friendship of pleasure, and the perfect friendship. After analyzing the paradigms of each of these relationships he comes to the conclusion that friendship is crucial to life. He declares: “For without friends no one would choose to live” (VIII 1158a.5-6). From this statement Aristotle proceeds to deduce that friendship is both noble and necessary.…

    • 1042 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Aristotle says that a friendship on the account of pleasure has some similarities to a friendship of goodness as does a friendship for the sake of utility. According to Aristotle “for good people too are pleasant to each other” (VIII.4) and also says “for the good are also useful to each other.” (VIII.4) This is why I believe that all three friendships exist within a…

    • 1096 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Aristotle's "Nichomachean Ethics" is filled with wisdom. He provides his views on what he believes is the different form of friendship. Aristotle claims that there are three forms of friendship. The three are friendships based on utility, pleasure, and good. Among those three there is one form of friendship that is best, and that is the friendship based on goodness.…

    • 1031 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    This friendship is seen between Gino and his son. Goodness is when you want the best for each other. The relationship between father and son is an unequal relationship because the son cannot love back. However we learn from Aristotle that people of unequal standings can achieve a friendship of goodness. This relationship can still have a friendship because in friendship loving is more important than being loved.…

    • 982 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays