Lasting principles of friendship in Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics

In Aristotle's "Nicomachean Ethics", Aristotle speaks about life on a variety of wavelengths. I've had the pleasure of reading this and I was quite satisfied with what I read. Although Aristotle speaks volumes of what is right and wrong, as well as, ordinarily accepted, it's approach to friendship is riveting. One of his primary focuses is friendship and although it is implied throughout all ten books, friendship is extremely and radically focused in books eight and nine.

In Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle elaborates that friendship is more than just a bond between two people, but something that should be valued. Aristotle discusses strengths and weaknesses of friendship and focuses on their value, as a result and also discusses everything from the beginning to the end, of a friendship.

Aristotle states in the beginning of book eight that there are only three kinds of friendships, but he does not describe them specifically. He states that in order to maintain any friendship, you must not change. There are instances, I agree, but life is not perfect and therefore; cannot agree. What if you meet someone who is physically unable to communicate from a trauma or what if you meet someone who has a sexual addiction and is in need of help? These are some thoughts to ponder.

He then continues to speak about individualism in his own words and if people do not remain themselves or true to themselves, the friendship will eventually die. I think that is truly important, so I can understand his reason for stating such. Although, he uses examples of actions he does or doesn't like, some I do not agree with include his stereotypical words about Persians. As he gets towards the end of book eight, he starts talking about the origin of differences in friendships.

What was extremely impressive was in beginning of book nine when, Aristotle quoted in the beginning that "In all friendships between dissimilars it is, as we have said, proportion that equalizes the parties and preserves the friendship". I believe that Aristotle was simply saying that "we have the ability to like and love individuals who are different, despite our differences".

He then continues to talk about reasons for maintaining a friendship based on action and not way of thinking, as everyone is different, therefore; has a different opinion on such issue. He continues to talk more about worth and goodwill and their relations to each other. Just because one does good things, doesn't mean they are good, although may seem good in a beginning of a friendship. I think he was basically stating that "things are not what they seem" which is very true. If you meet someone you think is a nice person, they may or may not be a nice person.

As Aristotle continues, he talks about friends and specific reasons why individuals are friends and he starts to talk about presence and it's importance in a lasting friendship including how it makes an impact on one's reputation, as a result. Towards the end of book nine, Aristotle analyzes consciousness and focuses on how it develops through friendship. He also talks about improving oneself to save a friendship, but doesn't specifically state how to do so.

I like Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics and truly recommend this to anyone who wants to be inspired or who appreciates life, as well as, value, love, and friendship.