The Nicomachean Ethics Book 8, Chapter 6 (1158a1-1158b11)
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Book 8, Chapter 6 (1158a1-1158b11)
- Young people make friends quickly, but it's mostly good will rather than complete friendship that happens in such cases.
- We have to invest a lot of time and affection in a true friendship, so it's not possible to have lots of this type of friend at once.
- It's easier to engage in relationships that are merely useful or pleasant. On the upside, "pleasant" friendships are more like proper friendships.
- They at least have the "delight in each other" part down—and these kinds of friends may even have things in common.
- Also, pleasant friends are necessary even to the fortunate, who certainly do not need useful friends.
- People in power tend to go for the useful and pleasant friendships. Aristotle quips that their friends are often not both at the same time.
- They surround themselves with the witty and snarky, but rarely with truly good people.
- Aristotle addresses the need for equality in a friendship. A good person and a powerful person aren't usually friends—unless the powerful one is also virtuous. This almost never happens.
- Equality in friendship also involves how each person loves the other and wishes them well. If one party isn't equally good, he must bring something else to the relationship.
- These types of friendships walk the line between faux friendship and complete friendship. They aren't as stable in the face of challenges as complete friendship.