A Curiosity Of Benefits And Self Love

1463 Words Feb 1st, 2016 6 Pages
Mike Kurzydlowski
A Curiosity of Benefits and Self-Love in Friendships
Reading Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, it is tempting to conclude that Aristotle provides clear explanation about the benefits of friendship and the idea of self-love. Throughout his examples of friendship, Aristotle supports his assumptions with evidence and real-world situations. His arguments about self-love and benefits from having friends seem clear and understandable to the reader. However, Aristotle unsuccessfully explains why friendship is primarily about activity rather than receiving the benefits of friendship. He also ineffectively explains the appropriate amount of self-love one should have. This essay will try to clarify Aristotle’s conditions for a complete friendship and his idea of self-love.
When Aristotle discusses friendship, he introduces the idea that a virtuous friend is someone who loves or likes another person for the sake of that other person. He calls “good will” the wanting of what is good for the sake of another, and friendship can be defined as shared good will, if each recognizes good will in the other. It seems that Aristotle is leaving room for the idea that in all three kinds of friendships, those based on utility, goodness, and pleasure, the individuals wish each other well for the sake of the other. As Aristotle continues to develop his classification, he chooses not to exploit the possibility that friendships of utility and pleasure desire to benefit the other…
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