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[7] Such friendship is naturally permanent, since it combines in itself all the attributes that friends ought to possess. All affection is based on good or on pleasure, either absolute or relative to the person who feels it, and is prompted by similarity1 of some sort; but this friendship possesses all these attributes in the friends themselves, for they are alike, et cetera,2 in that way.3 Also the absolutely good is pleasant absolutely as well; but the absolutely good and pleasant are the chief objects of affection; therefore it is between good men that affection and friendship exist in their fullest and best form.

1 There is some uncertainty here and elsewhere in these chapters whether ‘similarity’ refers to resemblance between the friends (as 3.6, and cf. 1139a 10, καθ᾽ ὁμοιότητά τινα), or between the different forms of friendship (as καθ᾽ ὁμοιότητα, 1157a 32, 1158b 6) , friendships based on pleasure or profit being only so called ‘by way of resemblance,’ i.e. in an analogical and secondary sense. But the latter consideration seems irrelevant here, and is first developed in the next chapter (sects. 1, 4). It is true that whether similarity between the parties is an element in all friendship (although this is implied by the words ‘who resemble each other in virtue’ in 3.6) is nowhere clearly decided, and it can hardly be predicated of some friendships considered below.

2 i.e., absolutely and relatively good and pleasant: cf. 4.1.

3 i.e., in themselves, and not accidentally.

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