Friendship Is An Essential Aspect Of Human Happiness

1848 Words Dec 4th, 2014 8 Pages
The first relationship we experience, apart from what we have with our family, for the first time to explore our lives, is friendship. At this time, people tend to discover many of their strengths and flaws through having many friends and feel emotions that they have never felt before. Friends help shape who we are and where we fit in society, always learning and improving through one another. Many philosophers today and in the past will agree that friendship is an essential aspect of human happiness. Friendship is understood as a distinctively personal relationship that is grounded in a concern on the part of each friend for the welfare of the other, for the other’s sake, and that involves some degree of intimacy (Helm). But what exactly defines its value? Can people consider the inner workings of friendship to be a greater and a more powerful gift than any other relationship such as romantic love?
Many turn to Aristotle to define friendship, for he provides with one of the best discussion on this topic. In one of his widely accepted works, Nicomachean Ethics, he divides true and genuine friendship with an artificial type of friendship that is based on mutual benefits like usefulness and pleasure. Agape is a broad kind of love, the kind that religious people feel that God has for us, or that a secular person may have for humanity at large; Eros, naturally, is more concerned with the type of love we have for sexual partners, though the Greeks meant it more broadly than we…
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