Friendship and the Discovery of the Self

in Aristotle's Dialogue with Socrates

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print July 2008 | ISBN: 9780226080505
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226080543 | DOI:
Friendship and the Discovery of the Self

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Friendship made its first appearance in Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics in what seemed to be a rather incidental manner. Aristotle's comments in Book I about examining the idea of the good, which seem to express a conflict between allegiance to a friend and the quest for the truth, contain a model in miniature for the apparent tension that runs through the Ethics as a whole between the political nature and the rational nature of the human being. The argument begins in Book VIII with a model of “perfect friendship” as a relationship between those who are alike in virtue and drawn together by recognition in the other of the sense of completeness each experiences in himself. Book IX designates the friend as “another self,” which leads for the first time to the recognition of the human being not as soul but as self. This chapter examines the arguments in Ethics about friendship and the self, happiness, justice, eros, and philosophy.

Keywords: Aristotle; Nicomachean Ethics; virtue; friendship; truth; happiness; self; justice; eros; philosophy

Chapter.  13411 words. 

Subjects: Ancient Philosophy

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