ARISTOTLE ON FRIENDSHIP © 2014 William Clugston. The Life of Aristotle He was born, he philosophized, he died. Born 384 B.C. in Stagira, northern Greece.

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Slide 1 ARISTOTLE ON FRIENDSHIP 2014 William Clugston Slide 2 The Life of Aristotle He was born, he philosophized, he died. Born 384 B.C. in Stagira, northern Greece Father Macedonian court physician. At age 17 went to Athens to study at Platos Academy. Left 20 years later when Plato died. 2 years later started tutoring 13 year old Alexander. 3 years later Alexander went off to pursue greatness. Went to Athens & started his school, the Lyceum. After about 12 years Alexander died and Athens was in revolt. Anyone associated with him was persecuted & Aristotle was charged with impiety. He left Athens so it would not commit a second sin against philosophy. Went back to Stagira and died a year later at 62. No one knows how or why he died. Slide 3 Plato v. Aristotle Plato Rationalist Theory of the Forms perfect, eternal, immaterial templates from which everything in this world is copied. Provided support for spiritual projects like Christianity and utopian projects like Marxism Aristotle Empiricist Philosopher of Common Sense There are Forms, but they are in things, not separate from them Liked to collect things biological specimens, constitutions Learn by observing Provided support for humanism and the scientific revolution Slide 4 Aristotles Work Lectured on virtually everything. Created the modern university curricula. 3 Areas of Science Theoretical truth for the sake of truth Physical natural philosophy, senses Math abstract but practical Metaphysics first philosophy, being Technical create things Practical how to make men good Ethics Political Science Slide 5 Theoretical & Practical Sciences Basis of Theoretical Sciences Beginning of the Metaphysics All men desire to know. An indication of this is the delight we take in our senses; for even apart from their usefulness they are loved for themselves. Basis of Practical Sciences Beginning of the Nicomachean Ethics Every art and applied science, and every action and choice, is thought to aim at some good; and for this reason the good has rightly been declared to be that at which all things aim. Slide 6 Logic Aristotle invented logic. Deduction arriving at new knowledge based on old knowledge. Syllogism: All men are mortal Socrates is a man Therefore, Socrates is mortal. Induction arriving at new knowledge based on observation. From specific to general. Slide 7 4 Causes Before you can understand anything, for example a statue of Pericles, you have to answer 4 questions about it. Material Cause what is it made of? (bronze) Formal Cause what is its form? (shape of Pericles) Efficient Cause what or who made it? (sculptor) Final Cause what is its final purpose? (commemorate his famous Funeral Oration) Slide 8 Other Greek Views Plato Dialogue, Lysis, deals with the definition of friendship. It does not have any answers, but raises questions that Aristotle tries to answer. Stoics and epicureans are self-sufficient so friendship is problematic. Stoics Community minded, but dont need to trust or rely on anyone. Basis of friendship is nature. Two rational minds coming together. Epicureans Stand apart from society. They argue that by being self-sufficient they have no need for utility type friendship, but are the only ones who can have true friendship. Slide 9 The Nicomachean Ethics Chief goal of life must be something good in itself and not as a means to something else happiness. Greek word is eudaimonia also translated as flourishing. Things like wealth, pleasure, honor contribute, but only virtue will make one truly happy. Examines the various virtues necessary for living well in a polis. In this way, it is a prerequisite to The Politics. Intellectual virtues (of mind) can be taught. Moral virtues (of character) have to be practiced. Doctrine of the Mean Most moral virtues are the middle between two opposite extremes and you can become proficient in them only by practicing choosing the Mean. Some, like Justice are not a mean, they just are what they are. Pays a lot of attention to the cardinal virtues of justice, prudence, temperance, and courage. Best life is one of philosophical contemplation. Slide 10 What is Friendship? Greek word is Philia Philosophy (love of wisdom) Broader than our word for friendship What we normally call friends Family Business relationships Civic ties Social clubs Religious affiliations Political parties What do these have in common? wanting for someone what one thinks good, for his sake and not for ones own. Reciprocal good will Is friendship a virtue? Probably not. Slide 11 3 Kinds of Friendship We do not feel affection for everything, but only for the loveable, and that means what is good, pleasant or useful. Friendship Based on Pleasure Friends with someone because you enjoy their company. Friendship Based on Usefulness Friends with someone because you expect to gain some advantage out of the association. Friendship Based on Virtue Friends with someone just because they are good (virtuous). Aristotle calls this perfect friendship. Slide 12 Friendships Based on Pleasure or Usefulness Real object of affection is not the person, but what you get out of the relationship. Ends when the pleasure or usefulness ends. Friendships based on pleasure are closer to true friendships. Friendships based on usefulness are for hucksters. Happy, self-sufficient people dont need useful friends, but need pleasant friends. Young people make friends quickly and tend toward friendships based on pleasure. Friendship does not arise easily among the sour and the old, inasmuch as they are rather grouchy and find little joy in social relations. Slide 13 Friendships Based on Virtue Tend to last a long time since the object of affection is the persons character. Wish friends good will for their own sake. Perfect friendship is when both friends are equally virtuous. The excellent person will need people for him to benefit. Even happy, self-sufficient people need friends. Virtuous people need to do good for other people and it is more honorable to do good for friends than strangers. Virtuous friends learn from each other and help each other be virtuous. Necessarily includes utility and pleasure. Must spend a lot of time together to develop this type of friendship. Slide 14 Friendship within the Family Tend to be unequal Husband superior to wife Parent superior to child As with other friendships between unequals, the superior friend brings more to the relationship so the inferior one should show more affection to balance things out. Just as the giver of a gift tends to have more affection than the receiver, parents tend to have more affection than children, and mothers have more affection to their children than fathers. Slide 15 Civic Friendship You can have some form of friendship with people you dont know or know very well. In a community with civic friendship, people assume that others are common supporters of the civic institutions and the common good. Where there is friendship there is no need of justice, so where there is civic friendship there is less need for legally enforced justice. Slide 16 Friendship in Different Regimes The better the regime, the more civic friendship and friendship based on virtue. In the worst regime friendships are based only on pleasure and usefulness. Good regimes Monarchy (single good ruler) Aristocracy (rule by virtuous group) Timocracy (rule by honorable group) Perverted regimes Democracy (mob rule) Oligarchy (rule by uncaring group) Tyranny (single bad ruler) Slide 17 How Many Friends Can You Have? The weaker the friendship, like Civic Friendship, the more friends you can have, but still, the Facebook limit of 5,000 friends is too high. Can only be in love with a few people because its an extreme of friendship. Friendships based on pleasure and usefulness are limited because you have to spend time with the people. Friendships based on virtue are very limited because good people are hard to find and you have the spend a lot of time with them. We must be content if we find even a few friends of this kind. Another limitation is that your friends should be friends with each other.


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