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Three Types Of Friendship: Nicomachean Ethics

1051 words - 5 pages

Throughout our lives, we value many things. Whether it’s valuing family, a passion, or even priorities, we highly praise certain things. For now, let’s take friendship into consideration. Some individuals value friendship whereas others don’t. Those who value friendship value it because they turn to in order to seek shelter when there’s nowhere else to turn to. It is safe to say friendship is a significant part of our lives, and no individual 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 which he says friendship based on utility and pleasure are unstable friendships.
Before discussing the three types of friendships, Aristotle talks about the importance of acknowledging why he asserts friendship as a necessity. First off, Aristotle says friendship is a “state” (Nicomachean Ethics, Book 8) where there is mutual goodwill. The message he is trying to relay is that both individuals must share the same affection, and both must long for what is good for the other. The ability to distinguish what is good and wanting it to pave the way for the other being is the sentiment of mutual goodwill. Moving into this idea of friendship being a necessity, it is safe to say we rely immensely and often resort to them for numerous reasons. However, Aristotle claims friendship is a necessity because it “hold states together,” (Nicomachean Ethics Book 8). It provides us with sanity and it is what pushes us to achieve and succeed. In other words, friendship is a foundation for life that enables us to keep going.
Two types of friendship Aristotle mentions in his Nicomachean Ethics are friendships based off of utility and pleasure. Friendship based on utility is simply described as relationship individuals engage in because they are benefiting from each other. For example, let’s say we have two friends, Alia and Alana. Alia and Alana have been friends for some time, but Alia secretly despises Alana and secretly talks about her behind her back. However, she continues to be friends with Alana because Alana’s father works at a law firm and knows Alana’s dad can get her an internship at the law firm. By that example, we can conclude that this type of friendship is a temporary since there are no real sentiments of what a friendship should have being that it involves using one to your advantage. Similarly, friendship based on pleasure is also a temporary friendship considering this relationship is the engagement of two individuals who are attracted to each other for personal desires. Friendship based on pleasure can be thought of being attracted to one for sexual desires. These two...

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