Aristotle: Nicomachean Ethics

How does Aristotle support his claim that the third type of friendship is “perfect”?

“THREE TYPES OF FRIENDSHIP” — EXCERPT FROM THE NICOMACHEAN ETHICS

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Aristotle makes it clear that the number of people with whom one can sustain the kind of relationship he calls a perfect friendship is quite small (IX.10). Even if one lived in a city populated entirely by perfectly virtuous citizens, the number with whom one could carry on a friendship of the perfect type would be at most a handful. For he thinks that this kind of friendship can exist only when one spends a great deal of time with the other person, participating in joint activities and engaging in mutually beneficial behavior; and one cannot cooperate on these close terms with every member of the political community.

Source(s)

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy Aristotle's Ethics First published Tue May 1, 2001; substantive revision Mon Apr 21, 2014