Group Work on Aristotle on Friendship

Break up into small groups. Then discuss the following. Delegate one or more members of your group to prepare an oral and written summary of your group's discussion. Make sure every member of your group has a copy of the responses.  If you were not present in class for this exercise, I recommend you complete it (in less than 2 pages) as a typed assignment.
[Book 8 can be found at The Internet Classics Archive | Nicomachean Ethics by Aristotle (]

1. Is friendship necessary? What does Aristotle think? Why? What do you think? Why?

 2. According to Aristotle, what are the three objects of love? Give an example of each. Do you agree or disagree with this characterization? Why or why not?

3. According to Aristotle, what are the three corresponding kinds of friendship? Give an example of each.

4. According to Aristotle, what is the unique characteristic of the friendship of the good? Do you agree? How do you decide if someone is someone else's truly good friend?

5. According to Aristotle, what are the relations between authority, status, and friendship? What do you think of people who strive to be friendly with authorities? Why?

6. How does Aristotle characterize the friendship "of man to wife?" What do you think of this?

7. What do you think characterizes the best kind of friendship and friends? How does this square with Aristotle's account of friendship in Book 8?


M. Kagan , Le Moyne College, Syracuse, NY
Comments welcome.  Please email:
Last revised: 10/31/18.

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