Aristotle S Concept On Virtue Essay Research
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Aristotle S Concept On Virtue Essay, Research Paper (Friendship) is some sort of excellence or virtue, and it is, moreover, most indispensable for life(Aristotle, 214). In his writing, Aristotle claims that without friendship it is merely impossible for one to live a complete and virtuous life. In this paper I will compare the virtues of the good person to those of the bad person. I will also explain the difference between the three kinds of friendships and how what kind of friendship one has depends on the kind of virtues you have. Finally I will attempt to explain self-love, because in order for us to be good friends and to have good friends Aristotle says that we must first be good friends with ourselves. I will prove to you that it is indeed impossible to live a happy life without a good friendship. In order to understand friendship, one must first understand the virtue of oneself. Aristotle puts virtue in a hierarchical form starting from the top and working down, the hierarchy is as follows: 1. Super virtuous (Megalospsychia) 2. Virtuous 3. Strong-willed 4. Weak-willed 5. Bad 6. Brutish At the top of the hierarchy is the super virtuous person or the Megalospsychia. This person is at the top of the hierarchy because his practical reason is much stronger than his desire. His soul s desire and his practical reason are not in conflict. The middle of the hierarchy, the strong-willed and weak-willed souls, is the area in which one s soul lives in constant conflict between desire and reason. The reason in the strong-willed person will usually win over the desire. Whereas in the weak-willed soul, the desire of the soul will overcome the soul s reason. As you get further down the hierarchy, past the weak-willed the appetite for desire becomes much stronger than the practical reason. In other words, almost everything one does is done for the sole purpose of selfish pleasure. In order for a man to obtain a good friendship, he must be at least virtuous on the hierarchy of virtue. For if his desire is greater than his practical reason, he finds himself in relationships that are based purely on pleasure and ones own personal benefits. The next topic that I will discuss is the three types of friendships. Aristotle claims that these three types are: useful friendships, pleasure friendships, and good friendships. Useful friendships and pleasure friendships both depend not on a friends love for the other, but on what he gains out of being his friend. Unlike useful and pleasure friendships, good friendships are based on one s love for their friend. Useful friendships are most commonly found among old people. It is within this age group that one pursues a friendship from which he will be benefited. These relationships are short-lived. For, once this person feels his friend is no longer a benefit he will realize the relationship is no longer beneficial to him. Unlike useful friendships, pleasure friendships are usually found among young people. This is because young people s lives are guided by emotion and most often they live accordingly to what brings them instant pleasure. Likewise, these relationships are also short lived, because the friend does not bring this person pleasure anymore. The good friendship is a perfect friendship that forms between two people who are alike in virtue. Aristotle says that those whom have good friendships are true to their friend and their attitudes are determined not by incidental considerations, but by the actual goodness of one s friend. Hence this relationship will last for a long time or for as long as their goodness or virtue lasts. He also says that in order to get virtuous or stay virtuous for that matter, one must have a friend of the same virtues. What this does is give the person a chance to see what they look like from the outside looking in. We are better able to observe our neighbors than ourselves, and their actions better than our own.