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poor men desire their friends' assistance, and even the most prosperous wish for their companionship (indeed they are the last people to adopt the life of a recluse); but it is impossible for men to spend their time together unless they give each other pleasure, or have common tastes. The latter seems to be the bond between the members of a comradeship.1 [4]

Friendship between good men then is the truest friendship, as has been said several times before. For it is agreed that what is good and pleasant absolutely is lovable and desirable strictly, while what is good and pleasant for a particular person is lovable and desirable relatively to that person; but the friendship of good men for each other rests on both these grounds.2 [5]

Liking3 seems to be an emotion, friendship a fixed disposition, for liking can be felt even for inanimate things, but reciprocal liking4 involves deliberate choice, and this springs from a fixed disposition. Also, when men wish the good of those they love for their own sakes, their goodwill does not depend on emotion but on a fixed disposition. And in loving their friend they love their own good, for the good man in becoming dear to another becomes that other's good. Each party therefore both loves his own good and also makes an equivalent return by wishing the other's good, and by affording him pleasure; for there is a saying, ‘Amity is equality,’

1 The ἑταιρεῖαι, or Comradeships, at Athens were associations of men of the same age and social standing. In the fifth century they had a political character, and were oligarchical in tendency, but in Aristotle's day they seem to have been no more than social clubs, whose members were united by personal regard, and were felt to have claims on each other's resources. See chaps. 9.2, 11.5, 12.4, 6; 9.2.1, 3, 9; Bk. 10.6.

2 i.e., good men love each other because they are both good and pleasant absolutely and good and pleasant for each other.

3 This sentence would come better after the following one.

4 Cf. 2.3.

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