Friendships In Aristotle's The Nicomachean Ethics

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According to Aristotle in his The Nicomachean Ethics, there are several different types of friendships, each with their own qualities, motives, and products. Aristotle defines the different types of friendships into three categories: friendships of utility, friendships of pleasure, and friendships of the good. Within each of these particular groupings of friendship, the interpersonal relationships associated bring forth positive effects to both an individual and a community. Friendship is not only necessary to lead a virtuous life but also to sustain a successfully functioning community though its effects in bettering an individual, others, and, consequently, the society as a whole. In order to live a truly virtuous life, I believe one …show more content…
It is through these types of friendships that the very functioning of a community becomes possible. In both these relationships, although self-serving, there is an equal exchange in the goods and effects that come from the shared understanding and purpose for the friendship itself. While friendships of pleasure are important in the happiness of an individual and the positive atmosphere needed to sustain a community, I feel friendships of utility in particular have a greater role in maintaining such communities. It is important to note that friendships of utility do not encompass the typical present-day meaning of friendship, but a relationship solely based on equal use and profit. Aristotle writes, “…those who love because of utility love because of what is good for themselves…not because of who the loved person is but in so far as he is useful…” (Aristotle 144) Friendships of utility are found in all aspects of social interaction – such as the relationship between an employer and employee – and these types of connections create a positive atmosphere of growth through the beneficial reciprocation between both parties. This type of relationship also creates a sense of justice. Through friendships of this type, the necessary reciprocity present allows for relational justice among members of a community, thereby maintaining order and adding to its overall health and

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