Reflection on Friendship and Self-love

Reflection on Friendship and Self-love

[Year 2]

Reflection on Friendship and Self-love

Introduction
What is friendship? The first building block in Aristotle’s development of the conception of friendship seems to be a commonly held notion, at least commonly held in his times: “People say that we ought to wish good things to a friend for his own sake,” which Aristotle calls “goodwill”.1 This goodwill which is in single direction has to be reciprocated and shown from both parties in both directions in a friendship. Aristotle confines friendship to objects with soul, and kick away soulless objects, in particular Euripides’ saying that “earth loves the rain,” from his scope of friendship, for they do not have a will and cannot reciprocate.

Friendship
Friendship “is a virtue or involves virtue, and is an absolute necessity in life.”2 There is only one genuine kind, although apparently there are three kinds of friendship, which refer to those based on utility, those based on pleasure, and most importantly those based on goodness and good character. Those friendships based on utility and on pleasure exist “only in so far as they will obtain some good for themselves from him.” Thus, they are (1) instrumental, depending more on the subject than on the object of affection. Since these friendships are contingent solely upon utility or pleasure, they are (2) transitory and non-permanent.

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Reflection on Friendship and Self-love



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