The Ancient Greek philosopher, Aristotle, said that there are three types of friendships.
One of the greatest assets we have in life is certainly the friendship. From the origin of mankind, one has been faced with friendship.
Every man thinks about it and tends to gain friendship. Many great minds of humanity tried to give an explanation of the term “friendship”. One of the biggest among them is the Greek philosopher Aristotle. This great thinker gave emphasis to the problem of friendship in his famous work Nicomachean Ethics. Some 25 centuries ago, Aristotle used the greek word for friendship “philia” (φιλία) and we translate it today as friendly love or just love.
Aristotle elevates the existence of love to say that it is most needed for life and to all people, of all ages and positions. But not all thinkers valued friendship and thought of it as necessary and very beautiful as Aristotle did. Many of the thinkers wrote about friendship with skepticism. The reason for this was their bad experience with friendship or because they were quite self-sufficient.
Friendship and love are intertwined, the two are closely related. He who loves wants his loved one to be a friend but also wants to be loved by a friend. Love and friendship seek mutually receiving and giving, therefore the presence of openness. According to Aristotle, there is a great interdependence of friendship and love. Aristotle claimed that there are three things that people like and that these things are worthy of loving: utility, pleasure, and the goodness.
According to these three kinds of loving, Aristotle distinguishes three types of friendships.
If someone likes to benefit, they don’t love the other person but the benefit they get from them. For this reason, his friendship cannot be called a real friendship. Also, if someone likes to spend time with another person for pleasure, he does not like that person for its own sake but only because they themselves are spending a good time with them. This kind of friends only think of their own interests and don’t actually care for their friends. Such friendships are easily broken.
Even a small disagreement can break these friendships. Such fake friendships are based on irrelevant grounds because people do not like each other as a person. Aristotle believed that young people generally love for pleasure, but their pleasures are easily replaced as well as friendships.
According to Aristotle, the third type of friendship is when friends like and love each other for their own sake, and not for pleasure or benefit. Such friendship is pleasant but also useful. It is stable, and it is possible only between good and honorable people. The true friendships are rare because there are a few good people. But often the question arises if this is right? Is there among us so little real friendships and good people?
Aristotle was asking himself:
Can there be a friendship between any kind of people, and whether the bad people can be friends or is this something which only the good people can give?
He identifies good people and friends. For true friendship takes a lot of effort and commitment, because a friend is forced to identify with their friends in order to understand them. Friendship takes time and patience. If a friend stays with you in any difficulty or problems, then you can consider this a real friendship.
Do we need friends more when we are happy or when we are in need?
Friends are more necessary in a case of accident, distress or life problems, but it is better to share happiness with them. Aristotle was asking himself:
Do we need more love for ourselves or for others?
According to him, man must first love himself, in order to be able to give love or friendship. Good people want to do good to themselves but also they want to make other people happy. Which means that a stable and a good person is usually a good friend.
Although Aristotle lived long ago, when we read his works we can see that he attached great importance to friendship. Aristotle’s work in some way describes our modern society, in which true friendship is rare. In the world of today, the moral values have fallen into the background. Be sure to read the works of Aristotle because ethicists and moralists consider Aristotle to be one of the pillars of the science of morality.
Try to gain real friends to care for and cherish sincere friends because Aristotle said,
Friendship is one soul in two bodies.
What are your thoughts on these types of friendships? Share with us in the comments below.
By Apollonas K.