Print Сite this

Cicero’s and Aristotle’s Friendship Notions


In Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle explains the principle of friendship and virtue are the coe of social relations, Aristotle supposes that all people were not equal. Aristotle believed that there were a more intelligent master or ruling element and a ruled element or slave. In contrast to Aristotle, Cicero believes that there are some qualities that make a good friend and a bad friend. He describes friendship using the relations between Scipio Africanus and Laelius. In terms of Aristotle’s ethics, man should be virtuous and follow the heist norms to reach happiness.

Our experts can deliver a customized essay
tailored to your instructions
for only $13.00 $11.05/page
308 qualified specialists online
Learn more

Main body

Aristotle underlines that all our actions in life are meant to gain happiness and are directed towards things in which we perceive happiness. However, people differ in their definition of happiness, such as a politician feels happy to serve the people, a robber feels happy by robbing people, both activities are aimed at achieving happiness. The reality of happiness can be different, but as people believe in it and strive for it, regardless of the true nature of friendship, friendship keeps on changing from person to person. He explains that Good is organized and have a hierarchy. Aristotle argues people differ in their definition of pleasure, but pleasure is addiction to some thing, which is not an end in itself. Happiness in political activity is also not possible because good politics is meant to achieve honor and respect. Similarly the life of money-making is also not good, as we are seeking money for a purpose or purposes and its not an end itself. It is clear that all these mentioned things are loved not because they are worth loving, but they lead to some object, to an aim, which is desired not for its own sake, but for another purpose, which is not complete.

Cicero observes that with every sought-after aim, there is an endless series of objects to be desired for the sake of something higher, which never ends. And the final good should be self-sufficient in itself, yet desirable not lacking anything; it can be then truly called friendship. Cicero believes that a friendship cannot endure if a friend asks for something non-virtuous. There are two kinds of virtues, Moral and Intellectual. The Intellectual virtue requires experience and time. It cannot be learned quickly as Intellectual refinement takes years of training and education, and it is not possible to master it over night. Similarly Moral virtue needs substantial time and energy and is achieved through constant learning and practice throughout ones life. For Cicero, friend is an image of oneself. Cicero writes:

“the whole essence of friendship — the most complete agreement in policy, in pursuits, and in opinions. Hence, I am not so much delighted by my reputation for wisdom which Fannius just now called to mind, especially since it is undeserved, as I am by the hope” (Cicero).

Cicero defines as, the soul’s activity that expresses virtue and is complete without qualification. Friendship is the highest good, which is “desired for its own sake and never as a means to something else”, he argues, happiness is self-sufficient in its own self without desiring some thing else. However the true way to seek happiness is by adopting a virtuous life. Thus the purpose of man should be to live in harmony with reason and struggle for true happiness.

In contrast to Cicero, Aristotle talks about the three desirable goods to which men normally attach happiness: external goods which include wealth, fame, power, friends, bodily goods, which includes good health, good looks and physical fitness and the goods of soul include virtue, knowledge creativity and friendship. Aristotle believes that there is no conflicting means looking at “true love”. Aristotle argues that certain goods (good life and health) are basics requirements to accomplish happiness, so are the wealth and friends, but it is the goods of soul, which creates virtue and provides ultimate happiness in human life. It is clear that friendship is supreme good, and the way to happiness is by acquiring a mean way, keeping the balance. Friendship does not mean continuous pleasure or eternal bliss, but achieving a harmony. Friendship can be achieved by making constant efforts and those who can achieve it no doubt have “capacity for virtue”. According to Aristotle friendship is an activity based on virtue, it is essential that the true happiness need to be in accord with the highest virtue, which is logic and reason. The main difference between man and beast is reason. It is crucial for man to understand ethics and achieve virtue by consistent education and training, which lead man to the intellectual contemplation, the highest form of achievement. Aristotle believes that man has a specific purpose in life, and the most important aim should be refining the human conduct, as human being interact in a society through their actions and manners. For Aristotle, friendship is an activity. Friendship is a choice and decision to get to know another person.


In sum, friendship is described as unique relations between people based on moral values. Aristotle attempts to find out what this function is. Therefore, he excludes the procedure of development and nourishment, as neither are appropriate barely to humans. Cicero as well excludes what he calls the life of sense-perception, as this is also not exclusively a human characteristic. Eventually, he concludes that the human function is to make the most of the part of the soul that exhibits cause. Subsequent, he puts onward a set of point of view that attach the human function of utilizing cause, to the perception of the eventual good end. The only dissimilarity is that the exceptional F is predictable to do its job fine. In case, we can combing Aristotle’s point of view with the idea that human function is that which expresses cause, Aristotle clearly shows that the tremendous man’s function is to express cause in a best behavior. Aristotle’s next step is to announce that all functions will be accomplished well when they are done in a way that displays the matching good feature (ex. The harpists function is said to be completed well when the playing three points and reaches his conclusion.

On-Time Delivery! Get your 100% customized paper
done in
as little as 3 hours
Let`s start

Works Cited

Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics. 2006. Web.

Cicero. Cicero on Friendship. N.d. Web.

Cite this paper

Select style


StudyCorgi. (2022, February 9). Cicero’s and Aristotle’s Friendship Notions. Retrieved from


StudyCorgi. (2022, February 9). Cicero’s and Aristotle’s Friendship Notions.

Work Cited

"Cicero’s and Aristotle’s Friendship Notions." StudyCorgi, 9 Feb. 2022,

* Hyperlink the URL after pasting it to your document

1. StudyCorgi. "Cicero’s and Aristotle’s Friendship Notions." February 9, 2022.


StudyCorgi. "Cicero’s and Aristotle’s Friendship Notions." February 9, 2022.


StudyCorgi. 2022. "Cicero’s and Aristotle’s Friendship Notions." February 9, 2022.


StudyCorgi. (2022) 'Cicero’s and Aristotle’s Friendship Notions'. 9 February.

This paper was written and submitted to our database by a student to assist your with your own studies. You are free to use it to write your own assignment, however you must reference it properly.

If you are the original creator of this paper and no longer wish to have it published on StudyCorgi, request the removal.