Taking a Look at Nicomachean Ethics

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Nicomachean Ethics

I chose to write about Aristotle and his beliefs about how the virtuous human being needs friends from Book VIII from Nicomachean Ethics. In this essay I will talk about the three different kinds of friendship that (Utility, Pleasure, and Goodness) that Aristotle claims exist. I will also discuss later in my paper why Aristotle believes that Goodness is the best type of friendship over Utility or Pleasure. In addition to that I will also talk about the similarities and differences that these three friendships share between one another. And lastly I will argue why I personally agree with Aristotle and his feelings on how friendship and virtue go hand in hand and depend on each other.

Aristotle believes that everyone is in need of some type of friend, he states that “for rich people and those who rule and have power, there seems to be the greatest need for friends.”(page. 144, book VIII) Aristotle believes that we as humans benefit greatly from having friends, no matter who we are or what position we are in wealthy or poor. There are three distinct types of friendship that Aristotle directs his beliefs towards. These three types of friendships include: Utility, pleasure, and Goodness or virtuous friendship. Aristotle believes that friendship is something that is extremely important to have and should be held above many things. Friendship Utility is unlike the friendships of pleasure or goodness because as Aristotle puts it is “for the old” he explains that friendship Utility is a friendship that two people may have where they only communicate with one another for self-benefit or to gain something for one’s self. These two people are not likely to live with each other and at times may not even be nice to th...

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...ip and they lack what it takes for a real friendship to flourish. Aristotle talks about how “cities are built around friendships” and believe this to be so true because friendships can mature into such greater things. A friendship consists of so many things within it, a true virtuous relationship relies on communication, trust, loyalty, and many other things. These qualities that make up a good friendship are nonexistent in a Utility or Pleasure relationship.

When looking at the three types of friendship that Aristotle says exist it does appear quite clearly as to which one is the best overall. Aristotle says that virtue is what makes a friendship so great, the participants within the friendship bring out the goodness in each other as well as mutual recognition. These components of a virtuous friendship are why it makes it the best kind of friendship there is.

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