previous next

But to resume: the forms of friendship of which we have spoken are friendships of equality, for both parties render the same benefit and wish the same good to each other, or else exchange1 two different benefits, for instance pleasure and profit. (These2 are less truly friendships, and less permanent, as we have said; and opinions differ as to whether they are really friendships at all, owing to their being both like and unlike the same thing. In view of their likeness to friendship based on virtue they do appear to be friendships, for the one contains pleasure and the other utility, and these are attributes of that form of friendship too; but in that friendship based on virtue is proof against calumny, and permanent, while the others quickly change, besides differing in many other respects, they appear not to be real friendships, owing to their unlikeness to it.) 7.

But there is a different kind of friendship, which involves superiority of one party over the other, for example, the friendship between father and son, and generally between an older person and a younger, and that between husband and wife, and between any ruler and the persons ruled. These friendships also vary among themselves. The friendship between parents and children is not the same as that between ruler and ruled, nor indeed is the friendship of father for son the same as that of son for father, nor that of husband for wife as that of wife for husband; for each of these persons has a different excellence and function, and also different motives for their regard, and so the affection and friendship they feel are different.

1 i.e., equivalent amounts of two different things.

2 i.e., friendships based on pleasure or utility or both, in contrast to those based on virtue; although the latter also are, of course, ‘friendships of equality.’ The parenthesis breaks the flow of the argument.

load focus Greek (J. Bywater)
hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: