Aristotle 's Views On Friendship Essay

Aristotle 's Views On Friendship Essay

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Aristotle presents his view of the mutual desire for good in others, or Friendship in his work, The Nicomachean Ethics. He asserts that friendship comes in three types, Virtue Friendship, Use Friendship, and Pleasure Friendship. He distinguishes Virtue Friendship as the perfect friendship, leaving Use Friendship and Pleasure friendship as deficient friendships. C.S. Lewis presents his view of friendship, which is motivated by appreciation love, in his book The Four Loves in a manner seeming to correspond to Aristotle’s concept of Virtue Friendship. Lewis also presents his perception of Companionship, which seems to correspond to Aristotle’s notion of Use and Pleasure Friendships. Lewis presents a more modern and seemingly accurate rehabilitation of Aristotle’s view on friendship.
Aristotle believes that imperfect Pleasure Friendships and Use Friendships are simply a means of obtaining pleasure and opportunity or visibility, respectively. This is similar to Lewis’ concept of Companionship, which he believes is a bond motivated by need love, which aims to satisfy a biological need. Both philosophers present that these similar concepts of Pleasure Friendship, Use Friendship and Companionship exist not for the sake of the friendship itself, but for something external to the friendship. Aristotle believes that Virtue Friendships are teleological, meaning that the friendship is an end and not a means for something else. This is similar to Lewis’s notion of friendship proper, which he believes is motivated by appreciation love. Lewis states that this appreciation love causes the pleasure that one takes from the loved thing to be only the love itself, which is very similar to Aristotle’s teleological description.
Aristotle portrays t...


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... Aristotle’s concept of Use and Pleasure Friendships being a means and not an end. Aristotle provides very generalized, often faulty seeming characteristics of Virtue Friendship, relating to time. These characteristics of Virtue friendships are that they, relative to the imperfect friendships, last for life, take the longest to form, and often form during adulthood. Contrarily, Lewis does not provide time related limits for friendship proper; he just proposes that companionship is the preceding matrix of friendship. Aristotle considers his highest form of friendship, Virtue Friendship, to be perfect. Lewis, however points out the potential perversions of friendship proper. Aristotle and the ancients considered friendship to be a “crown of life” while Lewis rendered it to be below agape, and actually unnecessary, because it is the least rooted in our biological need.

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