Study Guide

The Nicomachean Ethics Book 8, Chapter 4 (1156b33-1157b4)

By Aristotle

Book 8, Chapter 4 (1156b33-1157b4)

  • Complete friendship is awesome; friendships based on pleasure or usefulness is less so.
  • But these last two types can seem like complete friendship because they're based on what's pleasant.
  • And good friends are pleasant to each other.
  • Good friends are also useful to each other. But friendships based only on what is useful and fun fall apart when the advantage to each friend is removed.
  • Wicked people can have friendships of utility or pleasure. They can't love a person just because they're lovable and good.
  • Also, trust isn't likely to spring up among the wicked—and trust is essential to a proper friendship.
  • So Aristotle proclaims complete friendship the authoritative definition of friendship. The other two types are only kinda-sorta friendship.