Nicomachean ethics friendship essay

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Nicomachean ethics friendship essay

Friendship, as understood here, is a distinctively personal relationship that is grounded in a concern on the part of each friend for the welfare of the other, for the other’s sake, and that involves some degree of . Thus, the books on friendship form a bridge to Aristotle’s argument in the final book of the Nicomachean Ethics that philosophical contemplation is the most perfect happiness. This project unfolds in the course of an astonishingly complex account of friendship: not only does Aristotle discuss friendships based on virtuous character, he also. In Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle talks about how Happiness is the end goal for all men’s actions. “Happiness, therefore, being found to be something final and self-sufficient, is the End at which all actions aim.”(Nicomachean Ethics, b9) Most, if not all, actions people take are to satiate their appetite for happiness as they define it.

Aristotle preserves happiness as a central purpose of human life and a goal in itself. He dedicated most of his work to the topic of happiness, more than any philosopher prior to the modern era.

Aristotle was convinced that a genuinely happy life required the fulfillment of a broad range of conditions, including physical as well as mental well-being. In this way he introduced the idea of a science of happiness in the classical sense, in terms of a new field of knowledge.


Nor is it enough to have a few virtues, rather one must strive to possess all of them. To Aristotle, happiness consists in achieving, Nicomachean ethics friendship essay the course of a whole lifetime, all the goods; health, wealth, knowledge, friends, etc.

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This requires us to make choices, some of which may be very challenging. Often the lesser good promises immediate pleasure and is more tempting, while the greater good is painful and requires some sort of sacrifice.

In order to achieve the life of complete virtue, we need to make the right choices, and this involves keeping our eye on the future, on the ultimate result we want for our lives as a whole. We will not achieve happiness simply by enjoying the pleasures of the moment.

Unfortunately, this is something most people are not able to overcome in themselves. Later in the Ethics Aristotle draws attention to the concept of akrasia, or weakness of the will.

Fortunately, this natural disposition is curable through training, which for Aristotle meant education and the constant aim to perfect virtue. As he puts it, a clumsy archer may indeed get better with practice, so long as he keeps aiming for the target.

Also it is not enough to think about doing the right thing, or even intend to do the right thing: There is yet another activity few people engage in which is required to live a truly happy life, according to Aristotle: Since our nature is to be rational, the ultimate perfection of our natures is rational reflection.

Nicomachean ethics friendship essay

This means having an intellectual curiosity which perpetuates that natural wonder to know which begins in childhood but seems to be stamped out soon thereafter. For Aristotle, education should be about the cultivation of character, and this involves a practical and a theoretical component.

The practical component is the acquisition of a moral character, as discussed above. The theoretical component is the making of a philosopher. Here there is no tangible reward, but the critical questioning of things raises our minds above the realm of nature and closer to the abode of the gods.

For Aristotle, friendship is one of the most important virtues in achieving the goal of eudaimonia happiness. While there are different kinds of friendship, the highest is one that is based on virtue. This type of friendship is based on a person wishing the best for their friends regardless of utility or pleasure.

Nicomachean ethics friendship essay

This type of friendship is long lasting and tough to obtain because these types of people are hard to come by and it takes a lot of work to have a complete, virtuous friendship. Aristotle notes that one cannot have a large number of friends because of the amount of time and care that a virtuous friendship requires.

Aristotle values friendship so highly that he argues friendship supersedes justice and honor.

Aristotle's Ethics: Sample student essay

First of all, friendship seems to be so valued by people that no one would choose to live without friends. People who value honor will likely seek out either flattery or those who have more power than they do, in order that they may obtain personal gain through these relationships.

Aristotle believes that the love of friendship is greater than this because it can be enjoyed as it is. The emphasis on enjoyment here is noteworthy:Anger and Friendship in Nicomachean Ethics by Aristotle In a paper consisting of six pages the importance Aristotle gave to ethics as the foundation of human existence described in great detail in Nicomachean Ethics is examined.

Study Pack

Course Outline. This course will be a seminar on Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics, with particular attention to the account of justice, human excellence, practical wisdom, and the importance of certain social goods (love, friendship, political participation) in human well-being.

The Nicomachean Ethics is one of Aristotle’s most widely read and influential works. Ideas central to ethics—that happiness is the end of human endeavor, that moral virtue is formed through action and habituation, and that good action requires prudence—found their most powerful proponent in the person medieval scholars simply called “the Philosopher.”.

Published: Tue, 09 May Aristotle addresses the topic of friendship in Book 8 and 9 of his Nicomachean Ethics. Aristotle makes the argument that friends can be regarded as second selves. Reading: Nicomachean Ethics Books 8 and 9, and Julia Annas' paper, "Self-Love in Aristotle." Papers (James Gillard, Patrick Jolley) Aristotle claims that the virtuous person loves himself and is a friend to himself (or at least takes the same attitude toward himself as toward his friend), whereas the base person is not a friend to himself.

In The Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle devotes two of the ten books to the topic of friendship and its role in the good life. In this essay I will discuss what Aristotle had to say about the subject of.

Nicomachean ethics essay by aristotle summary