True Friendship Essay

Submitted By aafo21
Words: 687
Pages: 3

True friendship is one of the most beautiful relations of all. Aristotle, attempts in Nichomachean Ethics, to explain his complex philosophy behind friendship. He defines friendship as reciprocal good will between two parties who are also aware of the goodwill of each other. Friendships are grounded upon three different bases. One might like someone because he is good, or because he is useful, or because he is pleasant. When two individuals recognize that the other person is someone of good character, and they spend time with each other, engaged in activities that exercise their virtues, then they form one kind of friendship. If they are equally virtuous, their friendship is perfect. If, however, there is a large gap in their moral development (as between a parent and a small child, or between a husband and a wife), then although their relationship may be based on the other person's good character, it will be imperfect precisely because of their inequality. Aristotle explores the meaning and philosophy of a pure friendship. He starts by explaining the three bases upon which friendship is often grounded. The first of the three friendships is friendship for utility. Both parties derive mutual benefits from having been involved in the friendship. An example of this type of relationship is if I befriend a man that changes the tires of my car because he is changing my tires, the friendship is solely based on the fact that you are doing something for me by changing my tires and In exchange I am giving you money. The second friendship of the three is friendship for pleasure. This type of friendship entertains the idea that both parties enjoy the physical aspect of the relationship. The most important part of the friendship is the pleasure of touching and being around that person. This form of friendship also does not last a very long time. As time goes on people change, and with change comes discomfort. The pleasure of being with someone can change and dissolve so the friendship will follow suit. The last of the three friendships is friendship of virtue. This is the highest form of friendship as it is also the most rewarding of the three. When in this type of friendship you begin to see your friend as the “other you”. You grow to become friends with someone becuase you see yourself in that person: this relationship remains the same and holds firm, if you are virtuous prior to meeting that person it is very unlikely you can become unvirtuous so this friendship becomes set in stone. Aristotle also makes the point that this friendship is not coincidental, it takes time to create such a bond. You have to work at and for it.