Eng. 2 Sec. 6
1 April 2012
Friendship is unique
Aristotle was one of the most important thinkers of his time. Aristotle studied under the guidance of Plato for twenty years. Aristotle grew as a person and as a thinker to the point that he began to give his own lectures to students at Plato’s Academy. Aristotle served as teacher for Alexander before he was king and great. King Philip of Macedonia, Alexander’s father, held Aristotle to be very valuable (“Aristotle”). Aristotle started his own school in Athens named Lyceum under the rule of Alexander. Later on after Alexander died, Aristotle had moved to Chalcis. Aristotle wrote an abundance of books that were to ponder, for information, or books about description. Aristotle was followed by all his students and provided knowledge to those who studied under him.
Aristotle was one of the greatest thinkers of his time. He was one of the celebrated minds of Macedonia and was someone that really thought about almost everything. Among his thoughts came the idea of friendship and his definition of this idea. He once said and wrote in Nicomachean Ethics Book VIII: Some define it as a kind of likeness and say like people are friends, whence come the sayings 'like to like', 'birds of a feather flock together', and so on; others on the contrary say 'two of a trade never agree'(Aristotle 1).
This would mean that comrades are companions who agree with each other and are alike. Therefor companions would have to be those who have similar goals and aspirations. Aristotle had also said: Now it is thought that each loves what is good for himself, and that the good is without qualification lovable, and what is good for each man is lovable for him; but each man loves not what is good for him but what seems good (Aristotle 2).
This means that men only love what is good for them or what they believe is good for them. This would mean that men only like to be friends with people that will benefit them and will work with them for similar goals. These two simple quotes demonstrate how Aristotle believed that men were only interested in friendships that benefited them in someway.
Furthermore Aristotle also talked about a perfect friendship where the individuals benefited equally. Aristotle said: Perfect friendship is the friendship of men who are good, and alike in virtue; for these wish well alike to each other qua good, and they are good themselves (Aristotle 3). This clearly means that a virtuous friendship exists when two men are alike and seek the same goals and both benefit. While this may be hard to find some friendships which do work and are among the most successful friendships. Aristotle continues to write: Further, such friendship requires time and familiarity; as the proverb says, men cannot know each other till they have 'eaten salt together'; nor can they admit each other to friendship or be friends till each has been found lovable and been trusted by each (Aristotle 3). This in short means that friendships don’t just happen over night because it takes a long time for friends to learn about each other. Americans don’t really become true friends till there is a complete understanding of whom each can be. This is why friendships take time to develop because it is with time that many can learn about the virtues of one another.
Friendship is something that Americans don’t think much about, and is one of those words that is just thrown around and said usually. When defining friendship many would be at a lost for words. The dictionary definition for friendship is, “a friendly relation or intimacy” (“Friendship”). This would mean that anyone who is friendly is considered a friend, but this isn’t true. The definition of a friendship is one that is earned not one that can be taught by defining the word. This is why friendship is something that is sought by so many. Friendship can also be measured by loyalty. Loyalty is defined as “The state or quality of…