Aristotle and Friendship 3

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Acquaintances operate at the level of justice, without feeling genuine affection for one another. Friendship builds off of acquaintanceship to include a varying degree of genuine affection. Aristotle’s levels of friendship do not include habituating justice between two people. This indescression suggests that it could be possible for two people to be friends without being equal in justice. A friendship cannot exist without first having justice, therefore friendship is simply justice habituated between two people. Acquaintances are the lowest level of ‘friendship’ that people experience. According to Aristotle, and according to most people, acquaintance is not a valid friendship. People who are acquaintances operate at the level of justice, the two people reciprocate actions for one another. If one person were to help the other and that person were to not return the favor, then hope for a friendship to be created between the two would be dashed. In opposition, when one person does a favor for another and that favor is returned, and then a level of trust is built between the two which could create a friendship. According to Aristotle, friendship is when two people feel genuine affection for one another. He further expands friendship into three types. The lowest is pleasure. A friendship of pleasure is between two people who usually do one specific activity together, such as a sport or going out to party on weekends, but do not expand their relationship outside of that specific activity. They do not like have a friendship for the sake of each other, but for the sake of the good obtained through the other person (Aristotle 1156a10). The next level of friendship is of utility. Two people who do not need the justice factor that acquaintances have are in the level of utility. They can do things for each other without expecting any reciprocation. When a friendship can be described as one of utility or pleasure, then the people have only their own interest...
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