Friendship: Aristotle's Three Kinds Of Friendship

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Aristotle views friendship as “a virtue, or involves virtue” (1155a5) which is necessary for every human being and can hold cities together. A friendship is lovable (either good, pleasant, or useful) and mutual. Based on different motivations of being friends with one another, people experience different categories of friendship; it involves seeking of utility, pleasure, and goodness. The love between friends is reciprocated and friends are aware of it. The difference is that friends who love each other for goodness stand at the highest level of friendship which is called the complete friendship. For this paper I would like to discuss three kinds of friendship first, and use Aristotle’s idea of self-love to demonstrate why I think his reasons for…show more content…
“This kind of friendship will remains as long as friends’ virtue remains, and the virtue is what we call enduring” (1156b5). A crucial different between complete friendship and the friendship of utility and pleasure is that in the first case, friends trust each other in a stable relationship; they share a nature of good which takes this friendship as a “whole” instead of “separated” individuals in a relationship. The complete friendship is relatively rare to happen, since virtuous people are not common. According to Aristotle, complete friendship means a friend loves for the other’s sake, and only good people can be friends for each other’s sake. Why bad people cannot have a complete friendship by loving for each other’s sake? The word “good” is not separated from “virtue” or “goodness”, because a good person owns the goodness and this virtue makes a person good. For bad people, they would only love their friends for utility and pleasure for their own sake instead of for other’s sake; therefore they are not in the precondition of a complete
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