Friendship Through The Lense Of Philosophy And Philosophers Essay examples

Friendship Through The Lense Of Philosophy And Philosophers Essay examples

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In studying friendship through the lense of philosophy and philosophers, specifically Aristotle and Grunebaum, there’s been a lot of discussion about the ‘how’s and ‘what’s and ‘why’s of friendship-- what is a perfect friendship, and what is it based on? Why are friendships that focus on pleasantness or usefulness imperfect? Why do we feel obligations to our friends that we don’t feel to other people? We’ve had these questions answered-- a perfect friendship is, according to Aristotle, one based on the ‘virtuous’ qualities of both people-- ‘virtuous’, in this context, meaning the balance, the middle ground between excess and deficit. Pleasant friendships are ones that are only fun, no content, and useful friendships are ones where the parties just use each other for their possessions. Grunebaum told us that people believe they are more obligated to be good to their friends, rather than strangers, because there is more risk involved in treating those close to you unfairly. However, a question still lingers: why, exactly, do we befriend who we do? No matter if the friendship is perfect, useful, or pleasant, there must be more behind it, right? What makes us decide that a person will be good to have in our lives? It comes down to interests, proximity, and features.
As almost anyone who has had friends can attest to, friendships are easily based on common interests. When meeting someone, one most commonly asks ‘What kind of music do you like?’ or ‘What’s your favorite kind of music?’ or some other easy question that establishes common interests. Aristotle would most likely call these friendships pleasant friendships, unless they later evolved into perfect friendships based on virtues. This is because having these common interests is...


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...sense of duty towards the friends, because people are more likely to help those who remind them of themselves.
Overall, while the study of friendship through philosophy and philosophers, especially Aristotle and Grunebaum, has answered many important questions and given several insights to what friendship is, what it might be, or what it could be, they don’t easily answer the question of why, exactly, do we become friends with who we do. While there are three chief reasons that seem plausible-- interests, proximity, and features-- Aristotle and Grunebaum only have so much to say about these topics, and they do not say much of use. The two philosophers’ words can be loosely tied to the subject of friendships of interests, proximity, and looks, but the two seem, as to be expected, to have more knowledge and authority in the areas of friendship they truly wrote about.

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