Aristotle 's Views On Friendship And Major Themes Essay

Aristotle 's Views On Friendship And Major Themes Essay

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In Aristotle’s book, he talks a lot about the individual person. However, in one chapter, he switches gears to talk about friends. Aristotle gives his opinions on friendship and major themes like the three kinds of friendships.
For Aristotle, there are three kinds of friendships that a person can experience and have. The first one is the useful friend. Here Aristotle is talking about a friend who you are friends with because they are useful. He gives the example of a funny/witty person. He says that in this type of friendship, “the partners do not feel affection for one another per se but in terms of the good accruing to each other from the other (Nicomachean Ethics, 218). What he is trying to get at here is that we enjoy people who make us laugh, not because of who they are, but because they make us life. This is the pleasure we get from being around them. Aristotle thinks that these kinds of friendships are only incidental. He thinks this because in this type of friendship, the “object of affection is not loved for being the kind of person he is but for providing some good or pleasure (Ethics, 218).” We are only friends with them because they give us something. These friendships do not last very long because our needs change. In this case, our sense of humor changes over time and this friend is no longer funny. Therefor we do not feel the need to continue the relationship and drift away or not talk to them very often.
The next type of friendship is based off of pleasure. This type of friendship is also usually are short lived because they are based mainly on something they receive. These type of friendships are common with old people and young people. Young people tend to guide their lives by emotion and enjoy pleasures in t...


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... people’s lives. I see this a lot when people are discussing their vocation. They say things like “well what feels right to you?” or others. These are not bad, it is just the way young people process and make choices. One critique of Aristotle I have is that I wish he focused more on the venerability of having a close friend. It takes work to keep up a close friendship and can be hard sometimes to let people into your life. There is always the fear of being rejected or hurt. I do not think he emphasized this enough. This also translates to our relationship with God as it can be very hard to let him into certain areas of our lives.
Aristotle talks about a lot of different things throughout his book, but one important thing he talks about is friendship. We discussed the three types of friendships and how it is still around and translates to our relationship with God.

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