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A look at aristotles philosophy on friendship

What would it mean for true friendship to exist in a marriage?

  • The search for the true friendship of today's interactions might then be a necessary, and meaningful, quest;
  • Boomer died on a battlefield in Iraq;
  • Friendship in Aristotle Aristotle defines friendship as "a virtue, or involves virtue, and besides is most necessary for our life.

And did you get what you wanted from this life, even so? And what did you want? To call myself beloved, to feel myself beloved on the earth. But it can be hard to know what that sort of love consists of, let alone how to find it. We feel ourselves beloved when we know that our friend sees us for who we really are and loves what he sees. Aristotle has some important insights about how such friendship can occur.

Aristotle on Friendship In the Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle describes friendship as reciprocated goodwill. But it is the source of that goodwill that differentiates perfect friendship from two imperfect forms of friendship.

  • In this post I want to look at an argument such people might make against robot-relationships — based on the concept of an Aristotelian friendship;
  • Indeed, on his discussion about meaningful human lives at different degrees, Flanagan seems to keep friendship and morality together;
  • But, in fact, I think the robots could actually help to facilitate better friendships with those for whom we need to care;
  • They are a great good:

With true friendship, friends love each other for their own sake, and they wish good things for each other.

The two imperfect forms of friendship are based on either utility or pleasure. Imperfect friends love the benefits they derive from their relationship: The relationship I have with a golf buddy who makes me laugh, for instance, might be a friendship of pleasure.

If he plays with me because I have a membership in an exclusive golf club, then his friendship for me is one of utility.

The point here is not that true friendships are not pleasant or useful—they are—but merely that the pleasure or usefulness is not the source of the love true friends feel for each other. A true friend loves his friend for who he is, for his character. Because the love is based on something enduring, the friendship is enduring. Imperfect friendships, on the other hand, arise and die quickly, because they are based on impermanent things: When one or both parties cease to find the relationship pleasant or useful, the relationship ceases as well.

It is important to understand that Aristotle does not think the lesser forms of friendship—friendships of pleasure and utility—are bad. When it does occur, it will only occur after a long period of time.

Thus, even if we might hope that our useful and pleasant relationships will become true friendships, it seems like all friendships—even friendships between virtuous people—would have to begin as friendships of pleasure and utility. For Aristotle, any relationship has to be about something. Men and women come together because they need each other and they like each other. Because human offspring take the longest to raise, men and women form the most lasting relationships of any species.

The project of having and raising children, whether it is undertaken lightly or not, cannot be lightly discarded. In an important sense, it is bigger than the two people who take it up. The point is this: The more often you dwell on things like these, the harder it is to turn the focus away from yourself.

He is not arguing that, to have a true friendship, you must single-mindedly seek to be pleasant and useful to your spouse at your expense. Imagine if we made a claim like that about a sports team. They are so concerned with displaying their own talent, or maximizing their time on the field, that the team suffers. That would be equally unhelpful.

And this, at long last, leads to the a look at aristotles philosophy on friendship important insight that Aristotle has about true friendship. This is the insight that can help us understand something important about marriage.

Far to the contrary.

Love and Friendship in Plato and Aristotle

True friends are friends because they care about the same thing: They love each other for who they are because they see that thing they care most about—goodness—in each other. True friends pursue the good together through whatever activities they share, even when—especially when—the pleasure and utility seem to be gone.

Whatever we believe the goal of life to be, says Aristotle, that is the goal we will want to pursue with our friends. And true friends, friends who love each other for their own sake, see in each other a shared conception of the goal of life. True friends love each other for their own sake, but implicit in that love is a unity of purpose.

They are united by a common goal. Just as a football team becomes successful when all its members set aside their own concerns and pursue the goals of the team, so true friends single-mindedly pursue goodness together.

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If what we cherish above all else is our own personal benefit, there is no remedy for that loneliness. All of this helps us better understand what it would mean for true friendship to exist in a marriage.

  • The question is what kinds of relationships can we have with them and is this a good or bad thing?
  • All of this helps us better understand what it would mean for true friendship to exist in a marriage;
  • As Sokolowski puts it, "to be able to engage in true human friendship is the highest moral condition".

It means ordering the most basic activities of life to the pursuit of goodness. This requires a longer discussion than we have space for here. What it might mean, though, is keeping your joint focus squarely on the goal of life and guarding against what might destroy that focus.

And in that sense, marriage is very much about soulmates.