Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics: The Friendship Of David And Aristotle

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"Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up." Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 True friendships are a rarity in today 's culture. In Aristotle 's Nicomachean Ethics, he delves into what a "true" or "complete" friendship should be. The friendship of David and Jonathan in the Old Testament parallels with Aristotle 's ideal and complete and true friendship. Aristotle discusses three types of friendship in Nicomachean Ethics; Friendships of utility, pleasure, and "complete" friendship. What differentiates complete friendship from friendships of utility and pleasure is that true friends are not self-centered. Friendship based on utility and pleasure is not lasting; when there is no longer pleasure or usefulness, the friendship ceases. With true friendship, friends love each other for their own sake (not for pleasure or usefulness), and they wish good things for each other. True friendship is lasting friendship. A complete friendship, according to Aristotle depends on similarity in virtue. "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." (NE; bk.8; ch.3) True friends must be virtuous, therefore bad and un-virtuous men cannot be true friends. Another factor in Aristotle 's perfect friendship is equality; equality in age, station, and gender.
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