The Not-so-Perfect Companion Friendship Friendship is a characteristic, a goal, a desire, in which all human beings strive to attain, for as Aristotle said, “Without friendship, no on would choose to live. ” According to Aristotle’s Book VIII of Nicomachean Ethics, no virtuous person and vicious person can share the most prefect kind of friend ship –that being companion friendship –together. Although his claim is nearly satisfactory due to appropriate evidence, I find his conception misleading and ignorant.

To reveal this point, I will defend some efficient points within Book VIII, but ultimately object that any one person (good or vicious) can attain a companion friendship with one another. Aristotle states that a perfect friendship is rare, thus it takes time and patience to properly form. If this is the case, then anyone can become friends with anyone else if time is provided. To further explain, a virtuous person and vicious person may or may not have the shallow resemblances of friendship at first, but if they must be together or depend on each other, they can in time find common ground.

If all human beings have an ultimate goal to reach the highest of goods –that being happiness –and friendship is a state of happiness, then even a vicious person can transform and mature into a person of new virtue and good. To further defend my point, if two men, alike or unalike, must live together, there will be wishes for immediate friendship and also conflict, for no human is programmed to be perfect.

And if Aristotle’s claim that “men cannot know each other until they have eaten salt together,” then he is contradicting himself that only like men can find perfect friendship. If a virtuous person and a vicious person “eat salt together” they can then know each other, share experiences together, and unintentionally accept their rare and unique friendship. Alike men can do this as well, but not simply from both being alike. Therefore, any man can in time produce an equally valuable friendship as any two good and alike men.

My defense can have evident objections, for any philosophical argument possesses a counterargument. In my case of stating that even virtuous men and vicious men can ultimately achieve companionship, one can object that that cannot be the case, for those who live together must confer in activities of friendship, not just confer in benefits of utilities or pleasures because then, the friendship will not last which leads to separation, which leads to loss of knowledge of so-called friendship.

This may be the scenario in some circumstances, for if a vicious person and a virtuous person are living together, chances are they just need something from the other. Since friendship of the pleasant and friendship of the useful resembles so closely to companion friendship (and companion friendship is the most stable when friends receive the same things from the same source) it can be easily mistaken that a vicious person and a virtuous person’s friendship is genuine when it is merely a short-term convenience.

However to defend my argument and prove these objections wrong, I will claim that those who live together at first –like or unlike –regardless start with immediate friendship out of utility and pleasure; to achieve the most perfect friendship one must begin with the basics of lustful pleasure or useful desires. In time however since true companion friendship needs time, those initial utilities and pleasures can eradicate into common ground of respect and providing the best for one another with nothing in return, a prime birthplace for altruism at its finest.

If a virtuous person and vicious person then reach companionship, it does not matter if they live together or apart because friendship has no distance to diminish its value nor does it have any relevance to difference in status. If one is of a higher degree of power and the other of a lower degree, they can still give to one another oblivious of their social status and wanting nothing in return.

After divulging into the knowledge of Aristotle’s claim that no vicious person or virtuous person could ever reach the level of perfect friendship, I have thoroughly and successfully argued otherwise; I have proven that any one human can share a companion friendship with another. I have defended my thesis through strong examples from Aristotle’s readings that expose some contradictions in his points. I have also objected to my own argument but still rebutted back towards my argument, revealing the strength of my thesis. No human is perfect, so no human can reach the total perfect friendship.

Humans can still however, be virtuous, but still make mistakes that could technically categorize them as vicious. If this is the case, it does not matter how many kinds of friendships are classified, but that there is always potential to reach the closest of perfect friendships regardless of where your virtue stands; anyone can have companionship in time.

Works Cited Aristotle. , & Irwin, T. (1985). Nicomachean Ethics. Indianapolis: Hackett Pub. Co. Aristotle, (1994). Nicomachean Ethics. Retrieved October 10, 2010, from The Internet Classics Archive: http://classics. mit. edu/Aristotle/nicomachaen. 8. viii. html


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