Aristotle's Views on Friendship

Topics: Virtue, Friendship, Interpersonal relationship Pages: 1 (425 words) Published: May 12, 2013
Aristotle’s views on Friendship
Whilst browsing the internet for ideas for stories on friendship I found a summary of Book IX of Nichomachean Ethics, a book written by philosopher Aristotle. In book IX Aristotle puts friendship into 3 sections described later on. I actually found it quite surprising in how Aristotle thought about friendship, but after relating it to real life it became clear that the sections he put it into were the easiest and clearest. Aristotle notes three types of friendship, of which only one is genuine: of pleasure, of utility, and of goodness. In book IX essentially, the point Aristotle attempts to make is that a true friendship involves both parties loving one another nearly as much as they love themselves; friends act in one another's benefit, share common opinions, and stand as emotional openings when needed. They try and calculate how much of an act is and try and level it with something in return. So for instance, say your friend gave you a chocolate bar for your birthday, to be a good friend for his birthday you return the favour and do the same or something of equal value. Aristotle quotes this, “the decent person, then, has each of these features in relation to himself, and is related to his friend as he is to himself, since the friend is another himself” (1166a30-34), which backs up what is said above by saying that a friend is just another of themselves and they should love each other as they much as they love themselves. Aristotle also mentioned virtues necessary for friendship, these being: honesty and kindness; generosity and the basis to all the virtues loyalty. Honesty is important to friendship as lies no matter how small can backfire and cause pain to the trust and friendship between the people involved. Kindness is very important as even though it’s opposite, anger, is a vice it can and must be used at the right times. Kindness therefore should be used at all the times in between. Generosity is an important virtue as...
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