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In this sense then, as we said above, it is right to be a lover of self, though self-love of the ordinary sort is wrong. 9.

Another debated question is whether friends are necessary or not for happiness. People say that the supremely happy are self-sufficing, and so have no need of friends: for they have the good things of life already, and therefore, being complete in themselves, require nothing further; whereas the function of a friend, who is a second self, is to supply things we cannot procure for ourselves. Hence the saying1 “ When fortune favors us, what need of friends?

” [2]

But it seems strange that if we attribute all good things to the happy man we should not assign him friends, which we consider the greatest of external goods. Also if it be more the mark of a friend to give than to receive benefits, and if beneficence is a function of the good man and of virtue, and it is is nobler to benefit friends than strangers, the good man will need friends as the objects of his beneficence.Hence the further question is asked: Are friends more needed in prosperity or in adversity? It is argued that the unfortunate need people to be kind to them, but also that the prosperous need people to whom they may be kind. [3]

Also perhaps it would be strange to represent the supremely happy man as a recluse. Nobody would choose to have all possible good things on the condition that he must enjoy them alone; for man is a social being,2 and designed by nature to live with others; accordingly the happy man must have society,

1 Eur. Orest. 665.

2 See 1.7.6, note.

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