Contents Contact

Two men, one holding a lit match the other warming his hands by it.


For friendship is a partnership, and as a man is to himself, so is he to his friend; now in his own case the consciousness of his being is desirable, and so therefore is the consciousness of his friend’s being...

Aristotle (340 BCE)


Aristotle starts his discussion of ethics with some thoughts on friendship. Although this may be partly an accident of the way the notes have survived, he certainly wishes to examine friendships for the virtues they display, such as the way we are true to friends - our sincerity. Mount Phang Xi Pang in northern Vietnam. More on the idea of sincerity.
Now, with the aid of contemporary neuropsychology, and its suggestion that we do not model the idea of others on ourselves, rather we model ourselves The mirrored walls of the Narenjestan in Shiraz. A page on the way neuropsychology might inform this question. upon others, we might turn Aristotle’s point around. The desirability of the consciousness of our friends (and familiar people) leads to the consciousness of ourselves. The flexibility of this consciousness warns us not to pin the workings of the ‘self’ The photographer taking a photograph into a mirror. On the reality, or otherwise, of the self. too firmly onto individual bodies. Couple sitting overlooking a lake. Languages vary in the way pronouns work. Re-assessing these ties between body and self, and self and others, lets us eschew seeing virtue as this body assisting that body, but rather seeing it as part of an integrated web of processes within which actions reverberate.

Aristotle writes about friendship within his work on ethics, the quote comes from 1171b -33 of the Ethica Nicomachea in the Ross translation The Works of Aristotle Oxford University Press (1915).

Two friends, now deceased, at play; sharing the heat of a match to ward off the cold of their host’s house.

Above, hovering on blue introduces a link: click to go, move away to stay.


Saturday 7th August 2021

Murphy on duty to this site