Varieties of Friendship (NE VIII–IX)

Howard J. Curzer

in Aristotle and the Virtues

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780199693726
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191738890 | DOI:
Varieties of Friendship (NE VIII–IX)

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Aristotle evaluates friendships in two ways. First, although decision-making in a friendship may be the legitimate prerogative of one person, several people (according to their differing areas of expertise), or everyone, friendships are flawed insofar as the decision-makers aim at their own interests, rather than the interests of all. Aristotle calls this failure mode deviant; we might call it selfish. Second, although friends may legitimately contribute equally or unequally to friendships, friendships are flawed when the benefit each friend receives from a friendship is not proportionate to his or her contribution. Aristotle calls this failure mode unequalized; we might call it unfair. Thus friends have duties of care and justice to each other.

Keywords: friendship; justice; care; character-friendship; pleasure-friendship; utility-friendship

Chapter.  13330 words. 

Subjects: Ancient Philosophy

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