College Essay

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The successful pursuit of a virtuous, rational and happy life can only be obtained by those who have friends. Aristotle makes this clear through his views on what he describes as a true friendship, which contain the ideal conditions for someone to achieve this kind of life. Normally, I would try to debunk or dissect these views. However in today’s society, his thoughts, when applied to modern life, still offer an excellent path for one to walk. Aristotle even goes as far as to weigh both sides of the friendship scale by describing how virtuous and vicious people use basic human conditions in different ways. This is another application of his ideas that is also true to this day. As I read through the chapters that he dedicated to this subject I was able to embed my own actions and decisions into each concept and found only one or two statements that I would personally tweak just slightly. Overall I agree with his views and will share these reasons throughout this paper. From the beginning of the Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle starts to set the building blocks of what it takes for someone to live a virtuous life. As he develops some of the basics, like, “the things achievable by action have some end that we wish for because of itself… this end will be the good, that is to say the best good” [NE 1094a18-22], or, “we take the human function to be a certain kind of life, and take this life to be actions of the soul that involve reason; hence the function of the excellent man is to do this well and finely” [NE 109813-15], he shows us what we need to achieve just to be successful in being happy within ourselves. These views come full circle when he shifts to the concept of friendship, as “it is most necessary for our life. For no one would choose to live without friends even if he had all the other goods [NE 1155a5-6]. Being able to apply insights about one’s

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