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Aristotle's Idea Of Philia As Foundation For Human Relationships

5565 words - 23 pages

Chapter I
The Problem and Review of Related Literature


Man is a rational being who feels emotions. Our emotions make up a part if not most of our humanity. It can be also called passions like how it was used in antiquity. One of these emotions is love. To feel love and to reciprocate it is proper to rational beings such as the human person. But the term “love” has taken quite different meanings around the globe, a lot of persons even have their own notion of love. It is the one of the most elusive and abused term of mankind. It eludes definition for the reason that one really cannot exhaust love in one specific definition. As Benedict XVI said (2006, p. 7) “In our ...view middle of the document...

by Ross, 2001, pp. 967-968).
Love is a virtue that requires thorough deliberation. This will be further discussed in the proceeding chapters.
People appear to value love above everything else. They are very much fond of movies, novels, music, and the like with love as their theme. The fondness of society to love is predominantly seen in the youth, who at a very early point in their lives start and explore the very complicated world of intimate and romantic relationships. But in a society where love is given much importance, it is somehow mindboggling to think that most countries today undergo political turmoil, crises in morality, wars, and the like. This phenomenon makes one think whether people today really know what the notion of love is and what values related to love our current societies uphold.
One of the most pervasive issues of our society is infidelity in human relations. Friendship has always been an inevitable part of human relationships in history. A kind of love that has been misunderstood these days is the love between friends. Everywhere we go and every part of history that we look at, there would always be a bond between people, cities, and countries, and this bond is known to us as friendship. Friendship has also been a frequent topic in Greek philosophy of ancient times. As Pangle wrote,
Friendship was a great subject of stories and of philosophical reflection in classical antiquity. Friendship was associated in the popular mind with courage, with republicanism, and with the spirited resistance to injustice and tyranny. The Greek poets celebrated the stories of such famous pairs of friends as Heracles and Iolaus, Theseus and Pirihous, and Orestes and Pylades. (Aristotle and the Philosophy of Friendship, Pangle 2008, p. 1)
In our present context, friendships seem to be superficial. There are instances that a person can befriends another person just because he or she just needs something from him or her, which is a more utilitarian approach to friendship. This kind of friendship only exists because the person on the other end of the relationships uses his friend as means to an end, “but as soon as the friendship ceases to give them pleasure or be useful to the parties, the breakup eventually ensues” (Friendship as Paradigm of Aristotelian Eudaimonia, Festin, 2013, p. 22). True and genuine friendship should not be this way. True and genuine friendship should last, and this can be done through the right kind of love. For the true kind of friendship is the foundation of all human relationships, and ultimately the moral standards of all societies.
Everyone in this world has someone whom he or she considers as a friend. It is for fact that people need friends. We human beings are social beings who are unavoidably drawn to one another. No one in this world can live without friends as Aristotle said in his work,
For without friends no one would choose to live, though he had all other goods; even rich men and...

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