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A Journal for Ancient Philosophy and Science

Ed. by Wildberg, Christian / Morison, Benjamin

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Volume 48, Issue 2


The Conceptual Unity of Friendship in the Eudemian and the Nicomachean Ethics

Marco Zingano
Published Online: 2015-04-28 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/apeiron-2014-0016


Aristotle provides two different explanations for there being three distinct and (so I will argue) genuine kinds of friendship: friendship based on virtue, on pleasure, and on utility. In the Eudemian Ethics, he conceives their unity as a focal meaning unity, whereas, in the Nicomachean Ethics, resemblance is the key notion for unifying the three cases of friendship. In this paper, I propose an interpretation for this conceptual change, attempting to show why resemblance is a better tool than focal meaning to account for these three genuine kinds, and how Aristotle can maintain a hierarchy among them within a unity based on resemblance.

Keywords: friendship; Aristotle; focal meaning; resemblance

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Published Online: 2015-04-28

Published in Print: 2015-04-01

Citation Information: Apeiron, Volume 48, Issue 2, Pages 195–219, ISSN (Online) 2156-7093, ISSN (Print) 0003-6390, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/apeiron-2014-0016.

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