Aristotle on Self-Knowledge and Friendship

Philosophers' Imprint 11:1-28 (2011)
Abstract
In Nicomachean Ethics 10.7, Aristotle says that the contemplative wise person living the happiest and most self-sufficient life will need other people less than a person living a life of practical virtue. This seems to be in tension with Aristotle's emphasis elsewhere on the political nature of human beings. I analyze in detail Aristotle's most elaborate defense of the need for friends in the happy life in Nicomachean Ethics 9.9 to see whether and how he resolves the need for friends with the self-sufficiency of the happy life. The virtue-friendship described in the chapter does turn out to be more compatible with the self-contained unity of a happy life than other sorts of friendship, because collaboration in virtuous activities integrates the friend into one's activities. This is true even for contemplative friendship, where, as Aristotle suggests in the ornate final argument of 9.9, the friends collaboratively contemplate human nature and take pleasure in the goodness of human life. The unity achieved in this kind of friendship is an imitation of God's self-contemplative and self-contained unity. Nonetheless, I conclude, there is no evidence that Aristotle did not think that friendship was conditioned on human failings and so that friends would be less necessary for those leading the most excellent contemplative lives.
Keywords Aristotle  Friendship  Self-Knowledge
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
Edit this record
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Mark as duplicate
Request removal from index
Revision history
Download options
Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 30,169
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
The Good of Friendship at the End of Life.Christopher Mole - 2015 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 23 (4):445-459.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
The Advantages of Civic Friendship.Joyce L. Jenkins - 1999 - Journal of Philosophical Research 24:459-471.
Civic Friendship and Thin Citizenship.R. K. Bentley - 2013 - Res Publica 19 (1):5-19.
Confucius and Aristotle on Friendship: A Comparative Study. [REVIEW]Yuanguo He - 2007 - Frontiers of Philosophy in China 2 (2):291-307.
Why Virtual Friendship is No Genuine Friendship.Barbro Fröding & Martin Peterson - 2012 - Ethics and Information Technology 14 (3):201-207.
Friendship With God?Wanda Cizewski - 1992 - Philosophy and Theology 6 (4):369-381.
Confucius and Aristotle on the Goods of Friendship.Eric Mullis - 2010 - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 9 (4):391-405.
The Self in Aristotle's Ethics.Stephen A. Calogero - 1998 - Philosophy in the Contemporary World 5 (2/3):85-95.
Added to PP index
2011-10-01

Total downloads
189 ( #24,225 of 2,191,856 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
9 ( #21,050 of 2,191,856 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature