Study Guide

The Nicomachean Ethics Book 8, Chapter 5 (1157b5-35)

By Aristotle

Book 8, Chapter 5 (1157b5-35)

  • As Aristotle's said, it's important for friends to "live together." While friendships won't necessarily end because of distance, they will cease to be active.
  • After a long time, they'll be forgotten entirely.
  • There are certain types of people who don't make good friends: the old and the "sour."
  • Basically, these are the people who aren't pleasant to be with.
  • If you like someone but don't spend time together, you feel something more like good will toward them, rather than friendship.
  • It's not really possible to spend time with grumpy people or those who are totally unalike. Without something to enjoy about a person, it's just not going to happen.
  • We have to be able to find what's lovable in a friend. And that means a potential friend has to be generally good and particularly attractive (virtue-wise) to us.
  • "Friendly affection" is a passion or feeling, but friendship's a characteristic (virtue) that a person may have.
  • It's the virtue that makes us able to wish for good things for a friend, rather than the passionate feeling.
  • In being good in this way, we're rewarded by having a good friend in our lives. It's a reciprocal goodness fest.
  • This reciprocity in friendship gives rise to equality between friends.