Essay Aristotle Friendship

A question Aristotle would want us to ask ourselves would be: given my desire to better love my friends, what are some of the ways in which I can be a better friend to myself, that I might extend this friendship I have with myself to others?And this brings us to the very heart of the Christian life, as Jesus understands it: “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Mk.) My general inclination in the past was to understand this command to mean something along the following lines: “Given that you love yourself a good deal, love your neighbors as much as you love yourself.” But Aristotle challenges me in this regard.Aristotle calls it a “…complete sort of friendship between people who are good and alike in virtue…” This is the highest level of Those involved in friendship of the good must be able to value loving over being loved and as such, their relationship will be based more around loving the other person and wanting what is good for them.

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While Jesus may mean this, he might also mean to push us towards loving ourselves better, for we once again find our love or friendship for ourselves to be the root of our outward relationships—of how we love our neighbors.

The root, of both friendship and a full Christian life, seems to be loving ourselves well.

This cannot be a matter of self-indulgence, of course, for loving ourselves poorly would naturally result in loving others poorly, and being a bad and damaging friend.

We must be good and true friends to ourselves, loving ourselves well, which means seeking the best things in life. For that, we must return to Aristotle’s account of the virtues, or better yet, to the Good God who desires to share Himself with us, the God through whom all other goods, which He freely bestows, are rightly ordered.

Thanks to our memories, we can look back on ourselves, observing ourselves as if observing another.

Because of the different faculties of the soul—for instance, our desires, spiritedness and reason—we can question and interact with ourselves, fretting over a pressing decision or various courses of action.Lastly, as Confucius, Mencius, and Aristotle agree that the good friendship is necessarily a virtuous one, I consider what value aesthetic friendships have.where both people derive some benefit from each other.The first two kinds of friendship are only accidental, because in these cases friends are motivated by their own utility and pleasure, not by anything essential to the nature of the friend.Both of these kinds of friendship are short-lived because one’s needs and pleasures are apt to change over time.3) , where both people admire the other’s goodness and help one another strive for goodness.Friendships of the good are ones where both friends enjoy each other’s characters.Most importantly, our minds are capable of self-critique, internal dialogue, and sustained creative interaction with oneself, including one’s thoughts, memories, and responses to one’s thoughts.As a result, Aristotle suggests that we can be our own friends – we can enjoy being with ourselves (rather than hiding from ourselves in constant interactions with others), wish ourselves goods (such as existence, pleasures, and virtues), and wish things with constancy across our whole being, without experiencing internal division or schism.Aristotle describes a friendship of utility as shallow, “easily dissolved” or for the old.He views them as such because this type of friendship is easily broken and based on something that is brought to the relationship by the other person.


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