The Ethics Of Aristotle Addresses Major Questions Regarding Friendship And Virtue

The Ethics Of Aristotle Addresses Major Questions Regarding Friendship And Virtue

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In the Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle addresses major questions regarding friendship and virtue. He claims friends who give each other without any expectation of rewards in return are the ones who have successfully possessed one of the ingredients that make happiness that all human being innately long for. Although his claim has been accepted by many of the great thinkers, it still seems questionable to assume that one can achieve such supreme friendship that requires both people to be virtuous.
According to Aristotle, there are three types of friendships: friendship based on utility or usefulness, friendship based on pleasure, and true friendship. In friendship based on utility or usefulness, a person makes friendship with another because he/she wants to get something useful from the other person. This type of friendship does not last long. The friendship is easily broken when one of them no longer receives something useful from the other person. In a friendship based on pleasure, people become friends with one another because the other person gives pleasure to them. People who are in this friendship don’t love the other person for who they are but they love the pleasure they get from the friendship. This type of friendship is less enduring as well because friendship vanishes when one of the friends no longer gets pleasure.
In chapter 1, Aristotle asks whether people make friends with others who are similar to them or different from them. Based on his explanation of utility or usefulness friendship, it seems he suggests such friendship mostly exists between people who are opposites. One of the friends provides something the other doesn’t have and vice versa. In today’s world, this type of friendship is very common. For instance,...


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...munication to take place. Lifestyle of people became much faster-paced than it was in the time of Aristotle. This lifestyle automatically limits people’s time that they spend flourishing their friendship. As Aristotle suggested, it already takes a long time to attain true friendship, but it seems modern lifestyle slows down the process even more.
Secondly, Aristotle requires one to become virtuous in all other areas before acquiring genuine friendship. I personally don’t believe that you need to be knowledgeable about many different areas of studies such science, mathematics, language. Based on his analogy of different types of friendships the most important point that I will take with me is that less virtuous you are, less genuine friendship you will be able to attain. It does not necessarily mean that you need to be completely virtuous to obtain true friendship.

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