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Ethics

Aristotle

Summary and Analysis Book VIII: Chapter XI - Friendship and Justice under Different Constitutions

Summary

Each governmental form exhibits a form of friendship co-extensive with its conception of justice. Under perverted constitutions, the role of mutual friendship decreases in the same degree as that of justice. For example, the friendship of a king for his subjects expresses itself in his unselfish benevolence toward them, while under a tyranny there is little or no friendliness between ruler and subjects since they have little in common and there is no kindness in their relationship. Friendship and justice on a basis of complete equality are most fully realized in a democracy, because all citizens are equal and they share many things in common.