Aristotle on Friendship Essay

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Aristotle on Friendship

We are social creatures. We surround ourselves with other human beings, our friends. It is in our nature. We are constantly trying to broaden the circumference of our circle of friends. Aristotle understood the importance of friendship, books VIII and IX of the Nicomachean Ethics deal solely with this topic. A modern day definition of a friend can be defined as “one joined to another in intimacy and mutual benevolence independently of sexual or family love”. (Oxford English Dictionary). Aristotle’s view on friendship is much broader than this. His arguments are certainly not flawless. In this essay I will outline what Aristotle said about friendship in the Nichomachaen Ethics and highlight possible
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Both have something the other wants. These friendships do not last very long as once the buyer is no longer useful to the salesman, or visa versa, the connection is severed and the friendship ceases to be. Friendships of utility are common among old people, for in old age people pursue the useful rather than the pleasant.

2. Friendships of Pleasure
Friendships of pleasure are based on the amount of pleasure the people get from being in the relationship. People who go to football matches together, or who go to the pub together might be in this type of relationship. They are friends for their own sake, because the friendship brings them pleasure and enjoyment, not for their friend’s sake. Friendships of pleasure are common among young people. Young people quickly become friends and quickly cease to be friends because what pleasures them changes constantly.

3. Friendships of Virtue
Friendships of virtue, unlike friendships of utility and pleasure, which can include a circle of friends, are strictly one on one relationships. These types of friendships can only occur between two people of the same virtues and both persons have to be virtuous. One can only become virtuous through wisdom and age. Therefore friendships of virtue are not found among young people. It is a relationship of mutual respect and love. The persons in this type of relationship are not in it because they gain something from the relationship, they are not friends because
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