Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Friendship according to Aristotle

I was looking for something else when I came across this nice description of Aristotle's definition of friendship:
Two men are friends when each has a fixed disposition of liking and goodwill toward the other and both are aware that this is the case. There are three kinds of friendship: in the first, two persons are friends because they are pleasing to one another; in the second, because they are useful to one another; in the third, because they are both good and may help each other toward excellence. Of these the last is the highest kind, the second the lowest. Friendship of all kinds is the cement that should hold society together, and in the ideal state the friendship of citizens should be that of the highest kind.
Frankena, William K., Three Historical Philosophies of Education (Chicago: Scott, Foresman, 1965), p52.

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