The Symbolism Of Friendship In Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics

Good Essays
In the Nicomachean Ethics, it seems odd that Aristotle emphasizes friendship so much, placing it above justice, spending more time on it than on any of the moral virtues, and stating that “[a]nyone who is to be happy… will need virtuous friends” (Nicomachean Ethics IX.9.1170b). Compared to the lofty virtues that Aristotle discusses in the rest of the Nicomachean Ethics, like justice, friendship seems markedly less essential for a happy life. It is easy to see friendship as a result of man’s social nature and desire to find people with whom to live life. Immediately after Aristotle begins to discuss friendship, he mentions the natural, animalistic part of friendship as a central reason for why friendship is a necessity in life (NE VIII.1.1155a).

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Satisfactory Essays

    In Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics, he states that there are three types of friendships that can be obtained- the friendship of pleasure, the friendship of utility and the friendship of good. The friendship of pleasure is a relationship based on the simple enjoyment of being around a particular person; the friendship of utility is a relationship based on convenience. In other words, this friendship has no real meaning behind it, other than this person is around this person frequently, so they might…

    • 337 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    ancient Athenian philosophers. Nicomachean Ethics is Aristotle's most advanced work on ethics. In fact, Nicomachean Ethics was written around 340 BC. It is most likely to have been named after either his father or son, who were both named Nicomachus. Undoubtedly, friendship is one of the most important elements in the books of Aristotle's ethical principles. Out of the ten books of Nicomachean Ethics, only books eight and nine are on the subject of friendship. Friendship is defined as "the relationship…

    • 1658 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    Aristotle In Nicomachean Ethics Aristotle makes the case for the fulfillment of Eudimonea, the greatest happiness and good that a person can achieve. He states that there are 3 ways in which creatures, human specifically go about trying to fulfill Eudimonea. The first is through pleasure, be it sensual, tactile or mental. Through this basic ingredient me experience such things as food, games, and science fiction novels. The 2nd part of Aristotle’s Eudimonea is honor and recognition, be it recognition…

    • 439 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    Scholars do not agree on where the name for the Nicomachean Ethics comes from. Both Aristotle’s father and his son were named Nicomachus, so it is possible that the book is dedicated to either one. Other scholars suggest that Aristotle’s son may have edited the book after Aristotle died, so that the title “Nicomachean” may refer to this particular edition of Aristotle’s ethical works. Happiness is the highest good and the end at which all our activities ultimately aim. All our activities aim at some…

    • 1390 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    The second way that our definition of justice ought to be defined is as a personal attitude of respecting the rights of others. One of the major shortcomings of Aristotle’s ethical theory is that he failed to give an account of rights and duties. For Aquinas, a right is defined as “something proper due to each class of person in respect of his particular office” (ST II-II. Q57. A4). Although neither Aristotle or Aquinas gave a sufficient account of rights, moral and political philosophers would…

    • 1019 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    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…

    • 762 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Moral Philosophy As Aristotle uncovered in the early chapters of Book 1 of Nicomachean Ethics, all actions teleological, aiming at the ultimate good. Everything we do is goal directed, with this ultimate end being happiness, but more exactly a maintained state of well being called eudaimonia. While the route to achieve this ultimate end can be unique for individuals and understood different by those of varying experience and intellectual levels, the chief good at the end always remains the…

    • 747 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Galen O’Neill Perspectives Professor Donnelly October 7, 2014 Understanding The Nicomachean Ethics Aristotle’s advice on living an excellent life in college and beyond would focus on the path towards attaining happiness. As the best, self-sufficient end and the highest form of good, happiness accompanies the acquisition of virtue through action and promotes pure character. Under Aristotle’s terms, balance rules the process of obtaining a life of excellence as it curbs extreme behavior and allows…

    • 999 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    raised to know the difference between the right and wrong, who the person begins to associate himself with could change his/ her moral character. In The Nicomachean Ethics without virtues one can not be happy so a life lived making morally wrong decisions is a life that will not see happiness according to Aristotle. An example that best proves Aristotle’s thinking is one of a man losing his dog at a local park. The man searches all over for his dog, but his dog is nowhere to be seen. After hours of searching…

    • 721 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Nicomachean Ethics is an ancient Grecian interpretation of what is now called “virtue ethics,” a philosophical approach to morality that considers character rather than one’s duties in life or rules of one’s government. Aristotle contemplates issues such as a person’s purpose, rational thought, ethical actions, how one should frame one’s traits to be beneficial, and the undoubtedly lovely after-effects of acting on his advice. This seems adequate enough to serve as a useful tool of philosophical…

    • 1047 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Good Essays