Relationship Between Friendship And Friendship Essay

1631 Words Dec 13th, 2016 7 Pages
What is the nature of friendship? This is a question that many philosophers have attempted to answer. The ancient Greek philosopher, Aristotle, examines this question and theorizes about the concept of friendship in his work Nicomachean Ethics. Friendship is the “cement of society and extends throughout the human race”. It is clear from Aristotle’s writings that he believes that friendship is a necessary part of achieving happiness and should be highly valued. In Book VIII of Nicomachean Ethics, he clearly distinguishes three different kinds of friendships that people encounter in life: friendships of utility, pleasure, and virtue. The first two types that he explains, utility and pleasure, are not true friendships. Only a friendship of virtue is described as the best type of friendship and is very rare.
According to Aristotle, “to be friends, therefore, men must feel goodwill for each other, that is, wish each other’s good, and be aware of each other’s goodwill”. This means that in order for two people to be friends, there must be a mutual feeling of goodwill, or goodness, with each other. Each of the three kinds of friendships described are based with this foundation. Humans naturally “desire to love other human beings and to be loved by them”. However, even though there is a mutual love between the two people, in friendships of utility and pleasure, the friendships are easily destroyed because these are only formed when each party wants something from the other.…

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