Nicomachean Ethics: Friendship, Virtue and Happiness Essay examples

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In the writings of Aristotle, seen in Nicomachean Ethics, it is evident that Aristotle believes that friendship is necessary for a virtuous and therefore happy life. I believe that this is accurate due to the similar conditions necessary for a complete friendship and a happy life. It is also evident that friendship is useful in achieving a happy life because friendship can make performing virtuous actions easier. His interpretation can be misunderstood and mistakes in practice can be made, so we will need to discuss these follies as well, in order to understand all the effects of friendship on achieving a happy life.

Let us first examine the similarities of friendship with that of happiness and virtue,
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Since we have discussed the states of friendship and virtue in relationship to happiness, we must now examine the activities of friendship and virtue that make a happy life easier to attain. Aristotle claimed that of the goods in life “some are necessary conditions of happiness, while others are naturally useful and cooperative as instruments (1099b28-29).” He goes on further to exclaim that “having friends seems to be the greatest external good (1169b10-11).” Therefore this external good would be useful in attaining happiness. Friendship can be used as an instrument in performing virtuous actions necessary for happiness because “the solitary person’s life is hard, since it is not easy for him to be continually active all by himself; but in relation to others and in their company it is easier (1170a6-8).” Friends can also help us achieve happiness but guiding us to do virtuous acts, “for it is proper to good people to avoid error themselves and not to permit it in their friends