The Characteristics Of Friendship In Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics

1816 Words 8 Pages
Within book 8 nof Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, he proposes friendship is the best external good an individual can possess. However, Aristotle in chapter 3 of book 8, he asserts the finest friendships are forged through the similarities of enduring virtues. However, this doesn't seem entirely correct, because people gradually change over time and remain close friends. Problematically, Aristotle asserts if the virtuous behaviour of the peer were to change, then the friendship ought to be dissolved if the friend could not be returned to a state of similarity. In effect, this essay will aim to argue that the enduring friendships is achieved through gaining confidence in our friends, rather the virtuous similarity between individuals. Yet, it …show more content…
The other two types of friendship are aimed at pleasure, or utility. However, these types of friendship are not lasting, because they are created for the sake of obtaining a good generated from their peers. Insofar the individuals involved generate pleasure, or provide utility to the agent. Once that pleasure/utility has ceased, Aristotle expresses the friendship will also dissolve since the advantageous goods generated have stopped (122). 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. Nonetheless, the friendships of utility and pleasure is reduced, because it runs parallel with the intentions of base people who seek-out others only for self-gain. As Aristotle quotes, …show more content…
Insofar the friendship is meant to be aimed at unconditionally producing goodwill for one-another; the agent has a special obligation to their friend, to understand what caused their drastic change. An example is a friendship based off courage, where both individuals are similar at first (person A is a 5.9, and person B is 6.5 on the courage scale). However, suppose person B becomes gradually brasher, and reaches unit 9 due to a variety of personal experiences that person A does not know about. Consequently, this can cause person B to appear significantly different to person A. However, Person A ought to recognize they have a special obligation to understand what caused the change in their friend’s behaviour. However, Aristotle would assert that A should help B return to a state of similarity. Problematically, if this is not possible, then A has a right to leave the friendship since it can become disadvantageous to them (141). Problematically, if we were to dissolve the friendship due to a dissimilarity of virtue’s, then this would mean there was a form of qualification in the friendship. This is because the virtuous agents were benefitting each-other, through an egoistic manner. The reason for this proposition of reverting our friend’s behaviour is due to the egocentric concept

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