Aristotle: Nichomachean Ethics
Book II Insight
In Aristotle’s Nichomachean Ethics, he classifies friendship into three different categories. I agree with Aristotle’s assertion that most friendships fall into three different kinds of love and relationships. Aristotle recognizes that man is a social animal which undoubtedly fancies interaction amongst others. Men and women alike need friendships to thrive and be successful in any society. In this paper we will look at the different types of friendships that Aristotle defined along with certain corrections to his classifications as viewed by myself.
To begin this analogy we must first define some basis to the idea of friendship. The Oxford English Dictionary defines friendship as 'one joined to another in intimacy and mutual benevolence independently of sexual or family love'(1). Aristotle’s idea of friendship is much more refined than this present day definition. He outlines his thoughts and theories in Books VIII and IX of his Nicomachean Ethics, where he describes and details the importance of friendship. Aristotle considers friendship to be a necessity to life. He claims that no individual would choose to live without friends even if the individual had all the material possessions desirable in life. He illustrates this by an example of a king or ruler. A king has all the money and power he could imagine, but is not fulfilled if he has nobody to share it with. Given his comprehensive outlook 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. In his definition of friendship, he defines a couple of qualifications of friendship. The first requirement is that the two people must feel goodwill toward one another, or want the best for one another. The second is that they must be aware of and acknowledge each other's good will (Book VIII sec II). Friendships can be considered a virtue or virtues, as...