Aristotle on Friendship

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In book eight of Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle defines the three types of friendships that exist in the Greek word philia (a broader definition of friendship than one might think), which are based off usefulness, pleasure, or goodness, the three reasons for liking something: friendships of utility, friendships of pleasure and complete friendships. In the beginning, Aristotle says that friendship is a virtue or at least involves virtue. It is necessary to life, since no one would choose to live without friends even if he had all other material goods. Friendships serve as a refuge in times of misfortune, it helps prevent the young from making error, helps the old in their weakness, helps those in the prime of life to perform noble actions and holds cities together. Parents have a natural friendship with their children, and to a certain degree those who are similar. When men are friends, there is no need of justice, but when even if men are just, friendship is still necessary; and the justice that is most just seems to belong to friendship. Friendship takes time. Aristotle distinguishes between what he believes to be a genuine friendship and two other forms: one based on mutual usefulness, the other on pleasure. These two forms only last if there is utility and pleasure, whereas a complete friendship does not dissolve. One of the friendships Aristotle describes is the friendship of utility. In this type of friendship, a person will often use someone else to help themselves
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