Perfect Friendship is The Friendship of Men

760 Words2 Pages

Once upon a time, there was a little bunny named Harriet, and she loved nothing more than playing with her best friend Alice. Alice lived across the field from Harriet’s burrow. They spent hours nibbling on clover and wiggling their whiskers. Most of all, they loved playing with Harriet’s Wii. One tragic day, the Wii broke. The next day, Harriet waited and waited for Alice to come over to play. Alice did not come that day, nor the next. Alice never came over to play again. Harriet did not know that Alice had found a new friend, with a Wii that worked. When Harriet found out about Alice’s betrayal of their friendship, she wondered: what is a true friend? In an attempt to ease her pain, Harriet got a big bowl of ice cream, and lost herself in reading the Nicomachean Ethics of Aristotle. There, she discovered that there were actually three different forms of friendship: pleasure, utility and perfection. As Harriet read on, she came to realize that her relationship with Alice appeared to fit Aristotle's model of a utility based friendship. Alice had seemed to like her, and enjoyed their time together, but it was all too clear that Alice was more interested in the benefit of being able to play with the gaming console than obtaining value in their relationship by recognizing the many virtues of Harriet. The moment that the benefit of playing with the Wii was removed, the friendship dissolved. The incidental nature of Aristotle’s utility based friendship, played itself out in the short lived relationship with Alice. Harriet closed her book, sad for the loss of the relationship, but with a newfound sense of resolution. The following day, Harriet excitedly awaited the cheerleader tryouts that were to be held that afte... ... middle of paper ... ...virtue...) Late one evening, curled up in her nest, Harriet lay thoughtfully reading the last of Aristotle’s model of friendships: the perfect friendship. Though no secret to Harriet, Aristotle presents the idea that it is the most desirable and genuine of the three forms. The foundation of this friendship is not trivial, but instead the relationship is built on a common good and virtuous nature. As Aristotle explains, “those who love for the sake of utility love for the sake of what is good for themselves, and those who love for the sake of pleasure do so for the sake of what is pleasant to themselves.” Aristotle continues, “Perfect friendship is the friendship of men who are good, and alike in virtue; for those wish well alike to each other qua good, and they are good in themselves.” (concluding sentence or two...) Works Cited Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics

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