previous next
1. [2] In these business relationships then a common measure has been devised, namely money, and this is a standard to which all things are referred and by which they are measured. But in sentimental friendships, the lover sometimes complains that his warmest affection meets with no affection in return, it may be because there is nothing in him to arouse affection; while the person loved frequently complains that the lover who formerly promised everything now fulfils none of his promises. 1. [3] Such disputes occur when pleasure is the motive of the friendship on the lover's side and profit on the side of the beloved, and when they no longer each possess the desired attribute. For in a friendship based on these motives, a rupture occurs as soon as the parties cease to obtain the things for the sake of which they were friends; seeing that neither loved the other in himself, but some attribute he possessed that was not permanent; so that these friendships are not permanent either. But friendship based on character is disinterested, and therefore lasting, as has been said.1 1. [4]

Differences arise when the friends do not obtain what they desire, but something else; for not to get what you want is almost the same as not to get anything at all. For instance, there is the story of the man who hired a harper, and promised that the better he played the more he would pay him; but next morning, when the harper asked him to fulfil his promise, he said that he had already paid for the pleasure he had received by the pleasure he had given.2 This would have been all right if both had wanted pleasure; but when one wants amusement and the other gain, and one gets what he wants

1 8.3.7.

2 Plutarch, Plut. De Alexandri fortuna 2.1, tells the story of the tyrant Dionysius, who promised the musician a talent ´╝łthere seems no particular point in the sliding scale of payment which Aristotle's version introduces´╝ë , but next day told him that he had already been sufficiently paid by the pleasure of anticipation.

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: