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[1245a] [1] If, therefore, of the pair of corresponding series1 of this kind one is always in the class of the desirable, and the known and the perceived are generally speaking constituted by their participation in the 'determined' nature, so that to wish to perceive oneself is to wish oneself to be of a certain character,—since, then, we are not each of these things in ourselves but only by participating in these faculties in the process of perceiving or knowing (for when perceiving one becomes perceived by means of what one previously perceives,2 in the manner and in the respect in which one perceives it, and when knowing one becomes known)—hence owing to this one wishes always to live because one wishes always to know; and this is because one wishes to be oneself the object known. To choose to live in the society of others might, therefore, from a certain point of view seem foolish (first in the case of the things common to the other animals also, for instance eating together or drinking together, for what difference does it make whether these things take place when we are near together or apart, if you take away speech? but even to share in speech that is merely casual is a thing indifferent, and also neither to impart nor to receive information is possible for friends who are self-sufficing, since receiving information implies a deficiency in oneself and imparting it a deficiency in one's friend, and likeness is friendship)— but nevertheless it surely seems that we all find it pleasanter to share good things with our friends, [20] as far as these fall to each, and the best that each can— but among these, it falls to one to share bodily pleasure, to another artistic study, to another philosophy—; and so it is pleasanter to be with one's friend (whence the saying 'Distant friends a burden are'3), so that they must not be separated when this is taking place. Hence also love seems to resemble friendship, for the lover is eager to share the life of the loved one, although not in the most proper way but in a sensuous manner.

Therefore the argument in raising the question asserts the former position,4 but the facts of experience are obviously on the latter lines, so that it is clear that the raiser of the question in a way misleads us. We must therefore examine the truth from the following consideration: 'friend' really denotes, in the language of the proverb,5'another Hercules'—another self; but the characteristics are scattered, and it is difficult for all to be realized in the case of one person; though by nature a friend is what is most akin, yet one resembles his friend in body and another in spirit, and one in one part of the body or spirit, another in another. But still none the less a friend really means as it were a separate self. To perceive and to know a friend, therefore, is necessarily in a manner to perceive and in a manner to know oneself. Consequently to share even vulgar pleasures and ordinary life with a friend is naturally pleasant (for it always involves our simultaneously perceiving the friend), but more so to share the more divine pleasures; the reason of which is that it is always more pleasant to behold oneself enjoying the superior good,

1 e.g. the Pythagorean pair of series, One, Good, etc. opposed to Many, Bad, etc. (Solomon). 'The Determined' (opposed to 'the Indeterminate') belonged to the 'desirable' series.

2 i.e. perception of something outside oneself causes consciousness of self.

3 This proverb looks like a quotation, being half a line of verse.

4 See Aristot. Eud. Eth. 1244b 2ff., Aristot. Eud. Eth. 1245a 27.

5 Quoted elsewhere in the same connection, but one may conjecture that the phrase originally meant 'as strong as Hercules.'

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