Ethics : Why Friendship Is Essential And Not Fickle Essay

1042 Words Mar 6th, 2015 5 Pages
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. Relationships are necessary in light of living and therefore imperative to life itself. Furthermore friendships are worthy of praise and therefore noble. The concept of friendship, having been deemed a necessary and noble part of life, demands further investigation into two distinct facets of friendships. Through examining the object of love in each category of friendship and the duration of the relationship one may come to know why Aristotle asserts that life itself is dependent upon friendship.
The object of love is the first determining characteristic of a relationship. According to Aristotle the object of love is that which is loved by man. From here he goes on to articulate that men love “not what is good for him but what seems good” (1155b.22). This begs the conclusion that man, varying in opinion on that which seems good to…

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