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Cousins and other relatives derive their attachment from the fraternal relationship, since it is due to their descent from the same ancestor; and their sense of attachment is greater or less, according as the common ancestor is nearer or more remote. [5]

The affection of children for their parents, like that of men for the gods, is the affection for what is good, and superior to oneself; for their parents have bestowed on them the greatest benefits in being the cause of their existence and rearing, and later of their education. [6] Also the friendship between parents and children affords a greater degree both of pleasure and of utility than that between persons unrelated to each other, inasmuch as they have more in common in their lives.

Friendship between brothers has the same characteristics as that between members of a comradeship, and has them in a greater degree, provided they are virtuous, or resemble one another in any way1; inasmuch as brothers belong more closely to each other, and have loved each other from birth, and inasmuch as children of the same parents, who have been brought up together and educated alike, are more alike in character; also with brothers the test of time has been longest and most reliable. [7] The degrees of friendship between other relatives vary correspondingly.2

The friendship between husband and wife appears to be a natural instinct; since man is by nature a pairing creature even more than he is a political creature,3 inasmuch as the family is an earlier and more fundamental institution than the State, and the procreation of offspring a more general4 characteristic of the animal creation. So whereas with the other animals the association of the sexes aims only at continuing the species, human beings cohabit not only for the sake of begetting children but also to provide the needs of life; for with the human race division of labor begins at the outset, and man and woman have different functions; thus they supply each other's wants, putting their special capacities into the common stock. Hence the friendship of man and wife seems to be one of utility and pleasure combined. But it may also be based on virtue, if the partners be of high moral character; for either sex has its special virtue, and this may be the ground of attraction. Children, too, seem to be a bond of union, and therefore childless marriages are more easily dissolved; for children are a good possessed by both parents in common, and common property holds people together. [8]

The question what rules of conduct should govern the relations between husband and wife, and generally between friend and friend, seems to be ultimately a question of justice. There are different claims of justice between friends and strangers, between members of a comradeship and schoolfellows. 13.

There are then, as we said at the outset, three kinds of friendship, and in each kind there are both friends who are on an equal footing and friends on a footing of disparity; for two equally good men may be friends, or one better man and one worse;

1 Sc. not only when they are alike in virtue.

2 i.e., in proportion to the closeness of the relationship: cf. 12.4 fin.

3 See 1.7.6, note.

4 More universal than the gregarious instinct, which finds its highest expression in the state.

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