Virtue is a Necessary Feature of Friendship

871 Words Feb 2nd, 2018 4 Pages
But to what extent, if any, is virtue a necessary feature of a true friendship? A popular view, and one I agree with, is the highly moralized view, according to Cocking and Kennett, “friendship is an essential vehicle for moral development and improvement ” (Cocking and Kennett, 280). In order to argue my view that virtue is a necessary feature, I will discuss Aristotle’s view of the best kind of friendship, reconstruct Cocking & Kennett’s conception of the value of friendship and provide an example to show the difference in argument.
In “ The Nicomachean Ethics” Aristotle identifies three types of friendships: utility, pleasure, and virtue. He adopts a highly moralized view of friendship, believing the best type of friendship is one of virtue. These friendships arise between two good men with similar virtues. Friendships of utility form because of a good or benefit offered in the relationship. A Friendship of pleasure is established due characteristics, such as wit, which makes it pleasurable to be around one another. In both cases the “loved person is loved, but as providing some good or pleasure. Such friendships are easily dissolved, if the parties do not remain like themselves… the love ceases” (144). These friendships of utility and pleasure are short lived, and therefore not the best type of friendship. Friendship formed out of virtue posses the qualities of utility, pleasure, but also of good. These…