Difference Between Friendship And Love Essay Outline

Defining friendship

Friendship is notoriously difficult to define. For Aristotle, friendship, or philia, is a virtue which is ‘most necessary with a view to living … for without friends no one would choose to live though he had all other goods’. For a person to be friends with another, he says, ‘it is necessary that [they] bear good will to each other and wish good things for each other, without this escaping their notice’.

A person may bear good will to another for one of three reasons, that he is good (that is, rational and virtuous), that he is pleasant, or that he is useful. While Aristotle leaves room for the idea that relationships based on advantage alone or pleasure alone can give rise to friendships, he believes that such relationships have a lesser claim to be called friendships than those that are based partly or wholly on virtue. ‘Those who wish good things to their friends for the sake of the latter are friends most of all, because they do so because of their friends themselves, not coincidentally.’

Friendships that are based partly or wholly on virtue are desirable not only because they are associated with a high degree of mutual benefit, but also because they associated with companionship, dependability, and trust. More important still, to be in such a friendship is to exercise reason and virtue, which is the distinctive function of human beings, and which, in Aristotle’s system, amounts to happiness.

In Plato’s Lysis, Socrates says that he should ‘greatly prefer a real friend to all the gold of Darius’, thereby signifying not only that he places friendship on the same high pedestal as philosophy, to which he has devoted (and will sacrifice) his life, but also that the kind of friendship which he has in mind is so rare and uncommon that even he does not possess it. For Plato, friendship ultimately escapes definition because is more a process than an object. Real friends seek together to live truer, fuller lives by relating to each other authentically and by teaching each other about the limitations of their beliefs and the defects in their character, which are a far greater source of error than mere rational confusion. For Socrates as for Plato, friendship and philosophy are aspects of one and the same impulse, one and the same love: the love that seeks to know.

Defining love

If friendship is hard to define, love is even more so, not least because there are several types of love. Most present in modern minds is eros, which is sexual or passionate love. In Greek myth, eros is a form of madness brought about by one of Cupid’s arrows. The arrow breaches us and we ‘fall’ in love, as did Paris with Helen, leading to the Trojan War and the downfall of Troy. In modern times, eros has been amalgamated with the broader life force, something akin to Schopenhauer’s will, a fundamentally blind process of striving for survival and reproduction. Eros has also been contrasted with Logos, or Reason, with Cupid depicted as a blindfolded child.

Until perhaps the 19th century, people thought of love more in terms of agape than eros. Agape is universal love, such as the love for strangers, nature, or God. Also called charity by Christian thinkers, it can be said to encompass the modern concept of altruism, defined as unselfish concern for the welfare of others. Agape helps to build and maintain the psychological, social, and, indeed, environmental fabric that shields, sustains, and enriches us. Given the increasing anger and division in our society, and the state of our planet, we could all do with more old-fashioned agape.

There are also other types of love, most notably storge and pragma. Storge, or familial love, is the love between parents and their children. More broadly, it is the fondness born out of familiarity or dependency and, unlike philia or eros, does not depend on our personal qualities. People in the early stages of a romantic relationship often expect unconditional storge, but find only the objectifying eros, and, if they are lucky, a certain degree of philia. Over time, eros often mutates into storge and, if we are lucky, there is some philia as well.

Pragma is a kind of practical love founded on reason or duty and one’s longer-term interests. Sexual attraction takes a back seat in favour of personal qualities and compatibilities, shared goals, and making it work. In the days of arranged marriages, pragma must have been very common. Although unfashionable, it remains widespread, most visibly in certain high-profile celebrity and political pairings.

In conclusion

So where is the boundary between friendship and love? Actually, I think that the higher kind of philia that is based partly or wholly on virtue has a much stronger claim to the name of love than eros, not least because eros is much more selfish and objectifying.

Friendship is not different from love, but the best kind of love.

And if we can be friends with someone we are attracted to, then so much the better—so long as it works for, and not against, the friendship.

Neel Burton is author of Heaven and Hell: The Psychology of the Emotions, For Better For Worse: Should I Get Married?and other books.

Find Neel on Twitter and Facebook

Love And Friendship Essay

Throughout our lives we are constantly meeting new people and forming relationships that may or, may not develop into anything more serious than a casual exchange in conversation. Relationships will always vary in the degree of emotional closeness. Some people may have a very strong relationship where opinions and feelings are shared with each other, while others may chose not to share personal experiences instead, opting for easygoing conversations and random topics. In today's society everyone has a different perspective of what they see. The personal and intimate relationship that is shared between a man and a woman can be seen from many different perspectives.

A relationship is love and appreciation being shared between two people while at the same time they are indulging themselves in each others lives. A relationship is a connection between two individuals whether it is mother and child, male and female, or friend and friend. A relationship can be defined as something sacred, something meant to be shared between two people over a period of time. In the essay "On Friendship" written by Francine Du Plessix Gray she gives her perspective on the relationship between men and women.

"Friendship is by its very nature freer of deceit than any other relationship we can know because it is least affected by striving for power, physical pleasure, or material profit most liberated from any oath of duty or of constancy" this is a quote from Francine Du Plessix Gray. She believed that there wasn't any such thing as true love that with love you get a false sense of what's real. Varying opinions and conflicting perspectives can quickly lead to disagreements and animosity between people. However relationships formed with others all have positive and negative aspects to them. Unfortunately when people consider starting a new relationship with one...

Loading: Checking Spelling

0%

Read more

Love, Friendship, Loyalty in William Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream and King Lear

3063 words - 12 pages In William Shakespeare’s (1564-1616) attempt to explore themes of love, friendship and loyalty in his plays, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1600) and King Lear (1603-1606), there is distinct and constant portrayal of these themes classified of inconsistencies. It is crucial to understand that the historical context of Shakespeare’s writing is important in grasping a true understanding of the inconsistencies that exists in love, friendship and...

Love Vs. Friendship Essay

935 words - 4 pages Trying to discuss the difference between romantic love verses friendship is rather difficult to understand. There is so much gray area between the two that most people have a hard time comprehending the differences. How can we tell when a friendship has moved away from just friendly love to a deeper romantic love? Looking into the topic we see a lot of the time men saying that they're best friends with this girl that they have fallen head over...

Male Friendship as Viewed by Aristotle, Cicero, Montaigne, and Emerson

1328 words - 5 pages All four writers, Aristotle, Cicero, Montaigne, and Emerson discuss the importance of male friendship, and all four characters make statements about the superiority of friendship above other associations. However, the tone, the interpretation of friendship, and manner of rhetoric is influenced by the translation of the individual writer’s culture. Aristotle uses a rather categorical approach to friendship. By making strict delineations and then...

Aristotle and Friendship, Philosophical Ethics

609 words - 2 pages Friendship is undoubtedly one of the most important elements in the books of Aristotle's ethical principles. Aristotle takes the idea of friendship to a serious degree. He categorizes them into three groups or types of friendships. This report will attempt to define each type of friendship as well as...

essay about love

894 words - 4 pages Introduction (Leads reader into the essay by example. Note that it is divided into two paragraphs because of the natural shift)Thesis statement (Uses classification to define the subject)Paragraph One (Outlines the first category using example to define)Paragraph Two (Continues with category one)Everybody has...

lov essay

894 words - 4 pages Introduction (Leads reader into the essay by example. Note that it is divided into two paragraphs because of the natural shift)Thesis statement (Uses classification to define the subject)Paragraph One (Outlines the first category using example to define)Paragraph Two (Continues with category one)Everybody has...

Nicomachean Ethics: Friendship, Virtue and Happiness

935 words - 4 pages                 In the writings of Aristotle, seen in Nicomachean Ethics, it is evident that Aristotle believes that friendship is necessary for a virtuous and therefore happy life. I believe that this is accurate due to the similar conditions necessary for a complete friendship and a happy life. It is also evident that friendship is useful in achieving a happy life because friendship can make performing virtuous actions easier. His...

Aristotelian’s Normative Concept of Friendship

1362 words - 5 pages In Books VIII and IX of Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, the normative concept of friendship is precisely defined and separated into various categories of which Socrates’ and Alcibiades’ relationship can be ascribed to. To achieve this endeavor, one will need to understand Aristotle’s notion of perfect friendship based on reciprocal goodwill and virtue, and imperfect friendship based on utility and pleasure. By applying these evaluative aspects...

On Aristotle's Notion of Friendship

1605 words - 6 pages Seen as a sort of excellence or virtue (or at least involving virtue) , friendship is analyzed more than any other topic in the Nicomachean Ethics. Thought of as one of the most indispensable aspects of human life, Aristotle examines friendship from a wealth of angles to show why friendship is both important and essential to a good life.Aristotle...

When Souls Intertwine

2633 words - 11 pages 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...

Friendship 2

1798 words - 7 pages Human beings are social creatures. They strive for companionship with others. Although there are some people that might find pleasure in solitude until they reach the state of insanity, it seems clear that the majority of people do seek companionship if possible. Central among these companionships are friendships. For some people, this is what makes life worthwhile, the presence of friends.

0 thoughts on “Difference Between Friendship And Love Essay Outline

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *