Aristotle and Friendship, Philosophical Ethics

Essay by Anonymous UserUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, December 1996

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Friendship is undoubtedly one of the most important elements in the books of Aristotle's ethical principles. Aristotle takes the idea of friendship to a serious degree. He categorizes them into three groups or types of friendships. This report will attempt to define each type of friendship as well as identify the role of friendship in a society.

Aristotle considers friendship to be a necessity to live. He claims that no individual would chose to 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 in a society is to promote goodness between all parties involved in it.

As previously mentioned, Aristotle has identified three different types of friendships. The first is friendship based on utility. This is a friendship in which both parties become involved with each other for their own personal benefit. An example would be a working relationship with an individual. These are people who do not spend much time together, possibly because they do not like each other, and therefore feel no need to associate with one another unless they are mutually useful. They take pleasure from each other's company just for their own sake. Aristotle uses the elderly and foreigners as examples of friendships based on utility.

The second type of friendship is a friendship based on pleasure. This friendship is made between two people that wish to gain pleasure from one...