The Nicomachean Ethics of Aristotle

By Aristotle; F. H. Peters | Go to book overview

BOOK VIII.
FRIENDSHIP OR LOVE.

1. AFTER the foregoing, a discussion of friendship will naturally follow, as it is a sort of virtue, or at least implies virtue, and is, moreover, most necessary to our life. For no one would care to live without friends, though he had all other good things. Indeed, it is when a man is rich, and has got power and authority, that he seems most of all to stand in need of friends; for what is the use of all this prosperity if he have no opportunity for benevolence, which is most frequently and most commendably displayed towards friends? or how could his position be maintained and preserved without friends? for the greater it is, the more is it exposed to danger. In poverty and all other misfortunes, again, we regard our friends as our only refuge. We need friends when we are young to keep us from error, when we get old to tend upon us and to carry out those plans which we have not strength to execute ourselves, and in the prime of life to help us in noble deeds--"two together" [as Homer says]; for thus we are more efficient both in thought and in action.

1

Uses of friendship.

Differences of opinion about it.

2

Love seems to be implanted by nature in the parent towards the offspring, and in the offspring

3

-251-

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