This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Nicomachean Ethics: Friendship, Virtue And Happiness

935 words - 4 pages

            In the writings of Aristotle, seen in Nicomachean Ethics, it is evident that Aristotle believes that friendship is necessary for a virtuous and therefore happy life. I believe that this is accurate due to the similar conditions necessary for a complete friendship and a happy life. It is also evident that friendship is useful in achieving a happy life because friendship can make performing virtuous actions easier. His interpretation can be misunderstood and mistakes in practice can be made, so we will need to discuss these follies as well, in order to understand all the effects of friendship on achieving a happy life.

            Let us first examine the similarities of friendship with that of happiness and virtue, which we discussed previously is the most necessary part of a happy life. Aristotle describes happiness by saying “happiness is most choiceworthy of all the goods (1097b17-18).” His idea of choiceworthy is something we choose “because of itself, never because of something else (1097b).” Friendship is seen as similar to happiness when Aristotle describes friendship as “choiceworthy in its own right (1159a27).” Proven earlier, virtue is necessary for a happy life because “happiness is a certain sort of activity of the soul in accord with virtue (1099b26-27).” Since virtue is such an integral part of happiness, the similarity between friendship and virtue is relevant to the relationship between friendship and a happy life. Aristotle describes virtues as “states (1106a14),” and at the same time describes friendship as “a state (1157b30),” as well. He goes on further to say, “Just as, in the case of virtues, some people are called good in their state of character, others good in their activity, the same is true of friendship (1157b5-7).” It seems, according to Aristotle, that virtuous people make the best friends, “complete friendship is the friendship of good people similar in virtue (1156b7-8).” Lastly, it is evident that both virtue and friendship are voluntary, for you cannot “make a friend of someone who is unwilling (1163a13),” and “virtue is also up to us (1113b8),” because “decision is proper to a friend and to virtue (1164b2).” With so many similarities between  friendship and virtue it is logical to assume that friendship accords with virtue as a part of happiness.

            Since we have discussed the states of friendship and virtue in relationship to happiness, we must now examine the activities of friendship and virtue that make a happy life easier to attain. Aristotle claimed that of the goods in life “some are necessary conditions of happiness, while others are naturally useful and cooperative as instruments (1099b28-29).” He goes on further to exclaim that “having friends seems to be the greatest external good (1169b10-11).” Therefore this external good would be useful in attaining happiness. Friendship...

Find Another Essay On Nicomachean Ethics: Friendship, Virtue and Happiness

Aristotle on Happiness and Virtue Essay

2081 words - 8 pages upcoming moral philosophers. St. Thomas Aquinas and most of the other Christian philosophers were highly influenced by Aristotle’s work. Those people following the “Virtue Ethics" movement in the current era were, in fact, inspired by Aristotle himself. Arête & Eudaimonia The dictionary meaning of the Greek word ‘Eudaimonia’ is happiness. More accurately it means "living well” and "excellence". According to Aristotle, to achieve happiness is the

Virtue Ethics and Business Ethics Essay

2835 words - 11 pages result. Happiness and pleasure (Bentham) as Mill stated, are only shallow pleasures and cannot satisfy the deeper human need. Mill’s assessment of qualitative pleasures (ie – pleasures of the mind) is not dissimilar to that of the improvement of one’s sense of self as shown in virtue ethics. Virtue ethics holds that the ‘higher pleasures’ of which Mill speaks, can be experienced by improving oneself and becoming

Aristotle and Friendship, Philosophical Ethics

609 words - 2 pages live without friends even if the individual had all of the other good things in life. He also describes friendship as a virtue and as just. Given the above statements on friendship, it is safe to say that Aristotle felt that friendship is something that every human must have in order to reach a peaceful state of mind. It has all of the qualities of good as long as both parties of a friendship are considered good. Therefore, the role of friendship

Positve Psychology and Aristotle's Virtue Ethics Converge

1627 words - 7 pages , relationships, and happiness as presented by positive psychology with Aristotle’s virtue ethics theory. Positive psychology utilizes five pillars in order to flourish, achieve fulfillment, and satisfaction in life: Positive emotion, engagement, relationships, meaning, and accomplishment (PERMA). The five mainstays of positive psychology are not intended to be means to some other end; these foundations are selected for their own value in personal

Aristotle on the Nature of Happiness and Virtue

1643 words - 7 pages Maybe it’s not clear for many people but, for me it is. Happiness does not depend on what we have; happiness comes from us our soul. Aristotle enshrines happiness as a central purpose of human life and a goal in itself. Virtue, which Aristotle believes that is the balance between two excesses, and definitely achieved by maintaining the mean. Aristotle always asks what the ultimate purpose of human existence is. Everywhere we see

Distributive Justice: Inequality in Virtue Ethics and Ethical Egoism

1981 words - 8 pages Inequality in Virtue Ethics and Ethical Egoism Distributive justice attempts to limit economic inequalities that may arise in a society and is often associated with a minimum standard of living. While political equality concerns a citizen's political power, economic equality is commonly equated to equal opportunity, though the two are not mutually exclusive (Justice and Equality). In this paper I will explore the virtues of charity, tolerance

Aristotle's Notion on Eudaimonia and Virtue

1807 words - 7 pages In Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics he accounts that humans should make sacrifices and should ultimately aim first and foremost for their own happiness . In the paper I will argue that it is really in a person’s best interest to be virtuous . I will do this by first describing Aristotle’s notion on both eudaimonia and virtue , as well as highlighting the intimate relationship between the two . Secondly I will talk about the human role in society

The Good, the Happiness of a Human Being

972 words - 4 pages magnanimity and mutually beneficial friendship. The ultimate happiness then is not singular but instead involves many virtues and many facets of human life in an individual and communal scope. Works Cited Aristotle, and Joe Sachs. Nicomachean Ethics. Newbury, MA: Focus Pub./R. Pullins, 2002. Print.

Aristotle and the Book of Nicomanchean Ethics

950 words - 4 pages information about Aristotle and his beliefs in virtue and obtaining happiness. Using information from his book of ethics I will provide examples and quote on quote statements to support his views. In the second section, I will provide my agreements as to why I relate and very fond of Aristotle’s book of Nicomachean Ethics. In the third section, I will provide research as to why there are such objections to Aristotle’s book of ethics, and counter

Aristotle's Philosophy on Purpose

869 words - 3 pages together to create one conclusive result. Aristotle portrays many theories in his lectures and proposes many thought provoking ideas. Among these, his theory of practical wisdom. But, through all of the intricate connections, practical wisdom is the most valued and purposeful virtue, in Aristotelian Ethics. Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, c. 350 B.C. Book I: Translated by W.D. Ross Roth, John, et al. Ethics: Volume Two. California: Salem

Aristotle on Friendship

1545 words - 6 pages Aristotle on Friendship We are social creatures. We surround ourselves with other human beings, our friends. It is in our nature. We are constantly trying to broaden the circumference of our circle of friends. Aristotle understood the importance of friendship, books VIII and IX of the Nicomachean Ethics deal solely with this topic. A modern day definition of a friend can be defined as “one joined to another in intimacy and mutual

Similar Essays

Friendship And Self Love In Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics

1663 words - 7 pages , people do not want to be lonely. They have an urge to socialize and affiliate, as mankind is a social and political animal. "People are by nature political animals." (Aristotle. Politics i.2.9. 1252). Moreover, friendship is equal to self-love because in true friendships one will love his/her friends as he/she loves him/herself.Friendship And HappinessIn Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle examines happiness, which he defines as "the good towards which

Three Types Of Friendship: Nicomachean Ethics

1051 words - 5 pages can vouch for friendship like Greek philosopher, Aristotle. Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics delves into this idea of friendship being a necessity as well as conveying the three types of friendship he establishes. Friendship based on utility, pleasure, and virtue were thoroughly examined and ultimately, Aristotle developed a stance on the fact that friendship based on virtue is the one to attain. Subsequently, he provides a strong foundation for

Happiness In Aristotle’s Work: The Nicomachean Ethics

763 words - 4 pages Aristotle’s work, The Nicomachean Ethics, consists of numerous books pertaining to Aristotle’s Ethics—the ethics of the good life. The first book discloses Aristotle’s belief on moral philosophy and the correlation between virtue and happiness. The definition of happiness has long been disputed. According to Aristotle, happiness is the highest good and the ultimate end goal—for it is self-reliant. This idea contradicted other common beliefs and

Happiness In Nicomachean Ethics And Living The Rule Of St. Benedict Today

569 words - 2 pages Essay written by Elizabeth Sippel From pursuing pleasure to avoiding pain, life seems to ultimately be about achieving happiness. However, how to define and obtain happiness has and continues to be a widely debated issue. In Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle gives his view on happiness. According to Aristotle, different types of people pursue different ends. “The many,” or ordinary people, pursue pleasure, whereas politicians seek glory