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Plato's thoughts on friendship are quite different than Aristotle's and Seneca's

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When Souls Intertwine "The man who is to be happy will therefore need virtuous friends" (Aristotle 4). Aristotle is saying that in order for someone to be happy you must have not only friends, but virtuous friends. Virtuous friends are your true friends. What is true friendship? How do you know when someone is not only your friend, but your true friend? Some may say that a true friend is loyal, honest, and cares for you, someone who would die for you. Some may agree with Aristotle's view of friendship. He classifies friendship into three categories: friendship for utility, pleasure, or virtue. Aristotle says a virtuous friendship is when you wish good things for the other person. Is this all that constitutes a true friendship or is there more to it? What exactly is a virtuous person? For Aristotle virtue is expressed in action. Virtuous actions are about giving what one deserves. "a virtuous friend seems to be naturally desirable for a virtuous man. For that which is good by nature, we have said, is for the virtuous man good and pleasant in itself" (Aristotle 3). It is a matter of thinking and choosing what is good for the other person. ...read more.


True friendship is when you do not put on an act around that person; you should act as though you are completely alone. Seneca defines a self-sufficient man as one who can do without something, but not necessarily desire to be without it. In regards to friendship he says a self-sufficient man "endures the loss of a friend with equanimity"(Seneca 45). Seneca feels that "the wise man is self-sufficient" (Seneca 45). He says that a wise man realizes and feels his troubles, but is able to overcome them. A wise man may lose a friend, but is able to move on without him. You do not want anything if you are self sufficient. Want implies a necessity and "nothing is necessary to the wise man". While a man may be self-sufficient, he still desires friends. If you are self-sufficient then you do not need friends, and instead see them as a blessing. I agree with Aristotle and Seneca on many of their points. There are different levels of friendship and a true or virtuous friendship is the deepest kind. I think that a true friend is someone who you love no matter what. Once you have decided that you are friends, you have to trust them with everything and love their core. ...read more.


How could you judge someone without knowing everything about them? True friendship requires at least these two things: virtue and self-sufficiency. Many people in the world use the term "friendship" in a loose sense. One might begin to caution themselves against a thoughtless use of the term. One may even want to ask whether they are the type of person with whom true friendship is possible. I suggest we begin to think of friendship in a more spiritual manner. Perhaps we should begin to reintroduce into our dialog other words that might describe the different levels of relationships we have, such as "acquaintance," or the notion that we might be "familiar" with a person. At the very least perhaps we should consider whether the term friendship should be spent so easily and whether we should consider it such an abundant commodity. Friendships should take time. As Aristotle said, "though the wish for friendship comes quickly, friendship does not" (1155a) Discovering the soul or core of another person is one of the ultimate goals of friendship. We must remember that this takes time. We must consider the metaphor of one another as onions with many layers, the peeling back of which should be done carefully and may even cause some tears. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

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