Summary and Analysis Book IX: Chapter IX - Friendship and Happiness


Friendship is essential for happiness and the good life because friends give a good man the opportunity to do generous and virtuous deeds. Friendship also helps a man to develop his own moral character by his relationship with other good men, for a good man can be truly good only in the company of other good men. A final point — man is a social animal; he requires the companionship of other men and cannot find happiness if he leads the life of a recluse. Obviously it is better to associate with friends than with strangers.

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According to Aristotle, three conditions must be fulfilled for friendship to exist between two people. One of those conditions is

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