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Comment on the centrality awarded to friendship in the Nicomachean ethics?

In what ways is frienship different from the connotation it was for the modern mind. Books VIII-IX of Nicomachean ethics describe the nature of friendship and its role in the good life. Aristotle begins by making a teleological presupposition which means goal or purpose.According to him life has certain purpose,goal and objective.He says virtue is the highest goal of human life.Virtue need to be sustained as it leads to happiness.Aristotle believes ethics are compulsory.He says ethics must be based on opinions.Experts are the people who have received a certain education and status therefore it must be based on the opinions of the experts.For Plato,ethics are not compulsory,as ideal world willn't do because we live in human world which is imperfect.Aristotle said that human good is an activity of a soul in accordance with virtue.Self-love or virtuous love is prerequisite of being friends with someone.It is prerequisite for loving others as he believed that a virtuous man can love others in an orderly manner.A virtuous man is at peace with himself and he has good memories of achievement and the future therefore he can be friends with others.On the other hand an evil man can't have self-love and so he can't enter into friendship because of the unpleasant memories of the past as he is runnning away from his horrible past.He is not at peace with himself.Aristotle said unless you are not in the state of love,you can't have a good friendship.He discusses the nobility of friendship and its natural occurrence not only among men but in animals as well. The term "friendship" in Greek is Philia which means brotherly love.Aristotle says that the basic elements of freindship or love are goodwill,concord and beneficence.Aristotle says that goodwill is only the beginning of friendship and not friendship.Time, intensity and familirity can only turn goodwill into friendship.Goodwill can be expressed even towards a stranger.It is an intial and first sentiment of friendship and love.Next he explains concord which is a mutual feeling between citizen and state.concord really means absense of conflict.Friendship among fellow citizens is necessary to hold cities and political

communities together.In other words, concord is unity of mind among citizens in important matters affecting the public interest.It includes citizens content.In the last he explains beneficence,it refers to the relationship between the creditor and debtor.It menas voluntary offering benefits to others.In this kind of friendship or love,benefactores love their beneficted while their beneficiaries may not love them.For example if iam a creditor,i wish you well however if iam a debtor,i wish you death.It is a paradoxical relationship. Furthermore,Aristotle distinguishes between three types of friendship-the frienship of goodness or virtue,the frienship of pleasure and the frienship of utility.He says that frienship based on goodness is the only true form of freindship.The frienship of goodness is,when two people engage in common friendship just for the sake of developing the overall goodness of the other.Friendships based on a mutual feeling of goodwill between two people tends to last long.The friendship of pleasure comes into existence when two people are drawn to the others wit, good looks, or other pleasant qualities.Last is the friendship of utility is,when two people can benefit in some way by engaging in a common activity.In this kind of friendship people focus more on the benefits they can derive from eachother rather then enjoying their friendship.Friendships based upon utility and pleasure only last till people benefit from eachother.Both of these kinds of friendship are short-lived because ones needs and pleasures change over the time. Aristotle defines that friendship is a vitue.For him,friendship is even more superior to justice.Justice divides virtue while friendship unifies it.He condems oligarchy and tyrany.They are against friendship as thy are self-serving.For Aristotle,intimate friendship consist in the mutual sharing of goods, according to the known proverb that "friend's goods are common property".There are also frienship based on superiority like the relationship between father and son,ancestors and offspring,king and people. In the modern liberal world,we dont talk about friendship.The connoatations which Aristotle had are different from the connotations of the modern world.Modern frienships are more based on pleasure where people seek benefits

from eachother.It is rare to see friendships based on moral,faith,goodness or vitue.