December 10, 2012
The Nicomachean Ethics
Book VIII/IX Summary: Friendship
In these two books, Aristotle talked about friendship. He started by stating what the three different types of friendship are. The first type is when it is based on utility. This type of friendship is all about getting a benefit from someone else, and it will change according to circumstances. If a person doesn’t get benefits from the other anymore, the friendship will cease to be present. Benefits don’t have to be the only ground for friendship of this type, but there are definitely clear benefits involved. One example of this type of friendship Aristotle gave was friendships with foreigners. The second type of friendship is based on pleasure. In this type, you find the other person entertaining, and it is more about the experience of being near the person than anything else. This type is common between young people because young people’s lives are regulated by feelings. These friendships come and go often, and the friend doesn’t bring much to the friendship. The last type of friendship is based on goodness. This is when two “good” people are friends for the sake of each other. Both people in this friendship wish for the good of the other, and this type of relationship is most durable. Aristotle considered this type to be the perfect friendship. He didn’t care for the first two types because they are both short-lived, and they are circumstantial (Pgs. 203-208). Next, Aristotle talked about friendships that involved superiority. One example of this that was explained was the relationship between a parent and a child. Since the parent is more virtuously mature than the child, it is an unequal relationship. The more virtuous person is supposed to foster the virtue in the other person, and the child, or less virtuous person, needs to love that person, and offer them respect and honor in a much higher quantity in order to equal out the...