Relationship Between Self-Love and Friendship

Topics: Virtue, Friendship, Plato Pages: 2 (777 words) Published: May 7, 2012
According to Aristotle in “The Nicomachean Ethics” he talks about the relationship between self-love and friendship. Aristotle states that there are three types of friendship: utilizing friendship, pleasurable friendship and virtuous friendship. In order to have a virtuous friendship you must have a virtuous self-love. In order to have a virtuous self-love you must do virtuous acts. “Perfect friendship is the friendship of men who are good, and alike in virtue.” (Aristotle, The Nicomachean Ethics, p.145) Human beings want to have friendships with people who are alike and according to Aristotle the good kind of friend ship is the virtuous kind. Aristotle enforces the idea that there are three types of friendships two of which are selfish friendships: utilizing and pleasurable friendships. “Therefore those who love because of utility love because of what is good for themselves, and those who love because of pleasure do so because of what is pleasant to themselves.” (Aristotle, The Nicomachean Ethics, p.144) When a person is in a relationship with another for utility or pleasure, this is not highly admired by other people. Friendships like these will most likely end once the person who’s using the other begins to lose interest or lose the qualities they were looking for.

Pleasurable friendship tends to be the most temporary. Feelings change often and once the feeling of pleasure leaves so will the wanting of that relationship. Aristotle believes this tends to happen mostly amongst young adults due to the fact that their young nature permits them to act rationally on their emotions. Utility friendships are based on how one party benefits from the other. Once the use of that person runs out than the person who was utilizing them will end the relationship. “Thus when the reason for the friendship is done away, the friendship is dissolved, inasmuch as it existed only for the ends in questions.” (Aristotle, The Nicomachean Ethics, p.144)

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