Aristotle on Friendship and Self-Knowledge: The Friend Beyond the Mirror

History of Philosophy Quarterly 28 (2):125 (2011)
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Abstract

Aristotle's emphasis on sameness of character in his description of the virtuous friend as "another self" figures centrally in all his arguments for the necessity of friendship to self-knowledge. Although the attribution of the Magna Moralia to Aristotle is disputed, the comparison of the friend to a mirror in this work has encouraged many commentators to view the friend as a mirror that provides the clearest and most immediate image of one's own virtue. I will offer my own reading of Aristotle's theory of friendship, suggesting that the friend constitutes "another self" not as a mirror image but rather as a partner in moral perception.

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Mavis Biss
Loyola University Maryland

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