An analysis of friendship in nicomachean ethics

Though written more than 2, years ago, it offers the modern reader many valuable insights into human needs and conduct.

An analysis of friendship in nicomachean ethics

Michael Morgan, Ancient Philosophy This piece is the second of a set of three papers written for an independent study undertaken during the author's second year in graduate school. This and the other two pieces, Egoism in Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics, and Eudaimonia in Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethicswork together to present the case that altruism is utterly foreign to Aristotle's ethics and that egoism is his implicit doctrine, despite typical mainstream commentator's interpretations.

They challenge textual interpretations one by one, showing that only an egoist ethic can explain the passages that commentators find most puzzling, and allow them to fit consistently with other relevant passages and works.

Although the independent study and the papers were not undertaken with this goal in mind the purpose of the study was to familiarize the author with the philosopher's broader work in preparation for advanced study of his metaphysics and epistemologynevertheless the text forced these conclusions.

The current piece was undertaken with a view to simply understanding friendship as Aristotle conceived of it. While most commentators treat together in one work both friendship and the controversy over whether Aristotle is an egoist or an altruist, I found the latter issue much too big to include here.

I make only brief references to it; friendship is enough! I'll begin with a discussion of Aristotle's conception the nature friendship and of who needs friends and why.

Then I'll consider some commentaries and respond to them. No one, Aristotle observes, would choose to live without friends a5.

The better a person's situation, the more he needs friends, because he is proportionately in a better position to behave virtuously a But preferring is not the same as needing.

And some people are called 'friends ' in virtue of their proximity or community with each other or their common concerns. Such people would include fellow voyagers, and fellow soldiers since, "in every community there seems to be some sort of justice, and some type of friendship also" a Two people are friends only if they have goodwill for each other; each knows of the other's goodwill for him ba6: To have goodwill for my friend is to wish him good things--but not all good things, for two reasons: Now, the best friendships do not come frequently or quickly.

There are few truly virtuous people; and when they meet, it takes a long time for their friendship to develop b Despite their infrequency, however, the very best friendships are the models to which Aristotle refers.

The best friendship is the one which is caused by love of the good; it has the qualities of the friendship caused by love of utility and the friendship caused by love of the pleasant and more.

That is why it is complete, and the other two are only called 'friendships' by their similarity to this case ba3. One question that comes to mind is, "Is it possible for friendship to be complete without the friends' being both useful and pleasant to each other; i.

The answer is a clear "No! So real friends are useful and pleasant. Evidence that this is Aristotle's view may be found at b, where it is noted that older people and sour people do not have friends, because they are unpleasant.

If pleasantness were not intrinsic to friendship, what would prevent an old but virtuous or sour but virtuous person from having friendships with the good as their object?

Friends must live together, or they really only have goodwill b Julia Annas argues that this notion of friendship is too narrow to go along with the list of people that Aristotle says are friends.

For example, I am supposed to be friends with my ruler; but I can't live with him. But this can be easily interpreted.

An analysis of friendship in nicomachean ethics

I live in the same house or on the same block with my friends-in-virtue. But George Bush is a friend-in-utility. I live with Bush, but I don't need to see him every day; Washington, D. Recall that Aristotle says friendship is a source of concord that holds cities and, presumably, countries together a ; surely there is no reason to suppose that this kind of friendship is the mutual based-on-love-of-the-good kind.Nicomachean Ethics by Aristotle, part of the Internet Classics Archive.

Dive deep into Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics with extended analysis, commentary, and discussion Nicomachean Ethics Analysis Aristotle.

The topic of friendship raises questions of the.

The Internet Classics Archive | Nicomachean Ethics by Aristotle

Nicomachean Ethics/5 good judge of that subject, and the man who has received an all-round education is a good judge in general. Hence a young man is not a proper hearer of lectures on political science; for he is inexperienced in the actions that occur in life, but its discussions start from these and are.

Free summary and analysis of the events in Aristotle's The Nicomachean Ethics that won't make you snore.

An analysis of friendship in nicomachean ethics

We promise. The Nicomachean Ethics by Aristotle. Home / Literature / The Nicomachean Ethics / This is all about friendship, which Aristotle first defines and then breaks down into three types: the useful, the pleasant, and the. This is all about friendship, which Aristotle first defines and then breaks down into three types: the useful, the pleasant, and the complete.

He explains what is necessary for complete friendship to exist, including the need for friends to "live together" in order to see what is lovable in each other and to become more alike.

Aww, that sounds sweet. The Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle's most important study of personal morality and the ends of human life, has for many centuries been a widely-read and influential book.

Though written more than 2, years ago, it offers the modern reader many valuable insights into human needs and conduct. Among.

SparkNotes: Nicomachean Ethics: Book VIII