PROPERTIES OF FRIENDSHIP
Proportionate Properties in Friendship
I. HE PROPOSES A MEANS OF PRESERVING FRIENDSHIP. — 1757-1758
In all friendships of dissimilar persons proportion equates the parties and preserves friendship, as has been indicated.” Thus in justice between citizens a return according to value is made to the shoemaker for the shoes he gives. A similar thing is done to the weaver and to other artisans.
II. HE SHOWS HOW FRIENDSHIP IS DISTURBED BY THE ABSENCE OF THIS MEANS.
A. Why disturbance... cannot happen in an exchange based on justice. — 1759
For that reason people invented money to serve as a common measure, and all salable goods were referred to it and measured by it.
B. How friendship is disturbed by lack of a proportionate measure.
1. FROM THE FACT THAT ONE FRIEND DOES NOT REPAY THE OTHER.
a. He proposes the cause of the disturbance. — 1760
In friendship, however, the lover sometimes complains because his lavish love is not returned—but perhaps he has nothing deserving of love. On the other hand, the beloved very often complains that the lover had promised everything before, but now fulfills nothing.
b. He shows in which friendships this occurs. — 1761
These accusations are made when the lover seeks pleasure and the beloved, utility; and neither has the qualities the other seeks, Consequently, the friendship is broken off since the very reasons why it was formed no longer remain. The parties did not love one another for themselves but for advantages to be gained, and these were not enduring; hence neither were the friendships enduring. But friendship based on virtue remains, as we have indicated, because each friend is loved for himself.
2. FROM THE FACT THAT REPAYMENT IS NOT WHAT WAS DESERVED. — 1762-1763
Friends quarrel when given favors different from what they desire, for failure to get what a man wants is like getting nothing. This recalls the lyre-player who was promised that the better he sang the more he would be paid, but next morning when he demanded fulfillment of the pledge the man who promised replied that he had already given pleasure (i.e., of expectation) for pleasure. Certainly if each had wished this it would have been satisfactory. But if one wanted amusement and got it while the other wanted gain and did not get it, an unfair exchange was made; for a man is intent on acquiring what he needs and will give what he possesses to get it.
III. HE RECOMMENDS REMEDIES AGAINST DISTURBANCE OF THIS SORT.
A. He suggests the means... to preserve peace in friendship.
1. WHO SHOULD DETERMINE A PROPER REPAYMENT.
a. The estimate... should be made by the person who first receives the benefit. — 1764-1765
But who is to fix the amount due to each, the person giving or the person receiving the benefit? The giver evidently seems to leave this to the recipient as, they say, Protagoras used to do. For when he taught he told the student to estimate the value of the knowledge imparted; and Protagoras accepted no more. But in such matters some are satisfied to “let a man have his fixed fee.”
b. How complaint... follows — 1766
Those who first accept money and then carry out nothing they promised—their promises being extravagant—are proper targets for complaints; they are not doing what they undertook to do. The Sophists were forced to this course, for nothing would have been given for their teaching. Such persons then are justly accused for not doing what they are paid to do.
2. HE SHOWS HOW THIS REPAYMENT IS MADE.
a. In friendships based on virtue. — 1767-1768
Where the gift is not made with a promise of service, people who give for the sake of others cannot be complained of—as we have noted. This is in accord with the nature of friendship for virtue; and a return is made in view of the giver’s intention which has a special relevancy in a friend and virtue. A similar course should be followed with those imparting philosophy, for their value cannot be measured in terms of money nor can they be given an equivalent return. Perhaps it suffices that we repay them what is possible, as is done with the gods and our parents.
b. In other kinds of friendships.
i. He proposes his intention. — 1769
If the gift is not of this nature but was made in view of a recompense, a return which seems fair to both parties must be arranged. When this is not possible, appraisal of compensation by the beneficiary will seem not only necessary but just.
ii. He proves his proposal.
x. BY ARGUMENT. — 1770
A person will have what is just when he is repaid according to the help and pleasure afforded the recipient; and this is what happens in buying.
y. BY THE AUTHORITY OF LAW. — 1771
In some places the law prescribes that no legal action is possible in voluntary contracts, taking the position that a person who trusts another should be repaid according to the terms of the original agreement. It supposes that the person receiving the benefit makes a more just arrangement. In general those who have things and those who want them do not make equal valuations; each group puts a big price on what it owns and has for sale. But a return is made according to the appraisal of the recipient.
iii. He answers an implied question. — 1772
However, a man ought to appraise a benefit not at the value it seems to have after he gets it but at the value it had before he received it.
COMMENTARY OF ST. THOMAS
1757. After the Philosopher has shown the nature of friendship and defined the kinds of friendship, he now discusses the properties of friendship in the ninth book. First he gives the properties. Then [Lect. 8], at “Likewise the question etc.” (B. 1168 a 28), he raises doubts on questions already settled. He treats the first point from two aspects. First he considers matters pertaining to the preservation and the breaking up of friendship. Next [Lect. 4], at “Kindly acts etc.” (B.1166 a), he investigates the effects of friendship. He discusses the first point in a twofold manner. First’he treats matters pertaining to the preservation of friendship. Second [Lect. 3], at “A question comes up etc.” (B.1165 a 37), he considers questions concerned with its destruction. He handles the first point under three headings. First [I] he proposes a means of preserving friendship. Then [II], at “For that reason etc.,” he shows how friendship is disturbed by the absence of this means. Third [III], at “But who is etc.,” he recommends remedies against disturbance of this sort.
1758. Obviously, friendship between equals is preserved by a fair return. Hence he first explains how it is possible to preserve friendship existing between persons unlike one another—a thing that seems rather doubtful. He observes that in all such friendships between dissimilar persons, like father and son, king and subject and so on, friendship is equated and preserved by something which is analogous or proportionate to each. He makes this clear by an example found in political justice; accordingly, we said in the fifth book (975-976) that a return in conformity with proportionate value is made to the shoemaker for the shoes he gives. The same thing applies to the weaver and other artisans.
1759. Then [II], at “For that reason” he shows how friendship is disturbed by lack of a proportion. He treats this point in a twofold manner. First [II, A] he states the reason why disturbance of this sort cannot happen in an exchange based on justice. He observes that in exchanges between citizens there is found a common measure, currency, to which all articles of exchange are referred as to a criterion; and their price is measured by means of currency. Consequently what is to be charged for them can be determined. But the relations, which are exchanged in friendship, for example, affections, and services of friends, cannot be computed in money. Therefore, ship, however,” he explains how friendship is disturbed by lack of a proportionate measure. He shows this first [II, B, 1] from the fact that one friend does not repay the other; then [II, B, 2], at “Friends quarrel etc.,” from the fact that repayment is not what was deserved. He discusses the first point under two headings. First [II, B, 1, a] he proposes the cause of the disturbance in friendship. Next [II, B, 1, b], at “These accusations are made etc.,” he shows in which friendships this occurs. Concerning the first point we must note that repayment in friendship is judged according to two phases. First in relation to the interior act of love. On this aspect he says that in friendship the lover sometimes complains that, while he lavishes love on the beloved, the beloved does not return the love; and at times his complaint is unjustified, for instance, if he does not have anything making him deserving of love. Second, repayment of friendship is made in external gifts or services. Regarding this aspect he remarks that the beloved very often complains because the lover had promised him everything in the beginning but delivered nothing in the end.
1761. Next [II, B, 1, b], at “These accusations “are made,” he shows in which friendships this occurs. He remarks that these mutual complaints between lover and beloved take place when the lover seeks pleasure and the beloved wants utility. But sometimes these qualities are not present because the beloved neither provides pleasure for the lover, nor the lover utility for the beloved. Consequently, the friendship is broken off, since the very reasons for its existence no longer remain. The persons did not love one another for themselves but for the conditions mentioned, viz., utility and pleasure; and these are not enduring, so neither are friendships of this kind. But friendship for the sake of virtue is permanent—as we have indicated (1622-1623)—because friends love each other for themselves according to virtue.
1762. At “Friends quarrel” [B, 2] he shows how friendship is disturbed because repayment is not made in the service sought but in something else. He observes that very often friends contend among themselves when they have been given favors different from those they desire; for failure to get what a man wants is like getting nothing at all.
1763. He gives an example of a lyreplayer who was promised that the better he sang the more he would be paid. But the morning after playing, when he asked fulfillment of the pledge, the man who promised replied that he had already returned pleasure for pleasure, because conversely he had given the musician pleasure. If the lyre-player was looking for pleasure, the repayment made him was sufficient. But if the one who promised wanted amusement and the player gain, an unfair exchange was made since one party has what he wanted but the other does not. The man who offers a service is intent on getting what he needs and he gives what he possesses to get it.
1764. Then [III], at “But who,” he recommends remedies against these disturbances in friendship. He discusses this point from two aspects. First [III, A] he suggests the means to be used to preserve peace in friendship. Next [Lect. 2; III, B], at “On the other hand etc.” (B.1164 b 22), he resolves a difficulty. He treats the first point under two headings. First [A, 1] he explains who should determine a proper repayment in friendship. Then [A, 2], at “Where the gift etc.,” he shows how this repayment is made. He handles the first point in a twofold manner. First [III, A, 1, a] he shows that the estimate of a fair repayment should be made by the person who first receives the benefit. Second [III, A. 1, b], at “Those who first etc.,” he shows how complaint in friendship follows from this person’s negligence.
1765. He notes first that the arrangement of the amount of repayment pertains to both: the man who bestowed and the man who received the benefit. However, he who bestowed it seems to leave the estimate of the repayment to him who received it. Thus it is said that when Protagoras the philosopher taught students, he told each to reward him with presents that seem to the student fair for the instruction received from the teaching; and Protagoras accepted only that much. In such services of friendship some are satisfied to be recompensed according to the recipients’ judgment of the benefits. In this way they seem to receive an adequate fee, because it is given for the man doing the favor and not for the favor done. This is why it seems satisfactory that the fee suffice for the man even if it is not equal to the benefit.
1766. Next [III, A, 1, b], at “Those who first,” he shows how friendship is disturbed by negligence on the part of those who first receive. He remarks that those who first accept money before they render any service,. and then do none of the things they promised—perhaps because their promises were extravagant—naturally meet with complaints since they do not perform what they promised. This is what the Sophists are driven to do, because nothing would be given them for everything they know if the decision was left to their students, for all their learning consists in shallow and trifling doctrines. So then these men are accused when they do not perform the duties for which they accept a fee.
1767. At “Where the gif” [III, A, 2] he shows how repayment ought to be made in friendship: first [2, a], in friendships based on virtue; then [2, b], at “If the gifts etc.,” in other kinds of friendships. He observes first that where the gift is not made with an agreement or promise of a certain service, as was done in the friendships already treated, men sometimes bestow benefits for the sake of the person receiving them and not in view of a return. It is evident from discussion in the eighth book (1743) that such people are not to be complained of, for this is characteristic of friendship according to virtue in which a return must be made by considering the intention or will of the doer. Indeed, intention has a special relevancy to friendship and virtue, as has been noted (1538).
1768. Our view regarding friendship which consists in the sharing (communicatione) of virtue is the view we should take of sharing of philosophy, for instance, between master and student. The value of philosophy to someone learning is not measurable in terms of money; neither can a student make an equivalent return to his teacher, but perhaps that return, which suffices for God and parents, is to be made.
1769. Then [2, b], at “If the gift,” he shows the way a return is made in the other kinds of friendship. He discusses this point from three aspects. First [b, i] he proposes his intention. Second [b, ii], at “A person will have etc.,” he proves his proposal. Third [b, iii], at “However, a man etc.,” he answers an implied question. He says first that, if the benefit is of such a nature that the person does not give for the friend’s sake but wishes repayment, there must be a return that seems fair to both the giver and the recipient. If this is not possible, then he who was benefited ought to determine a compensation that is reasonable; such a procedure is not only necessary but just.
1770. At “A person will have’ [b, ii] he proves his proposal: first [ii, x] by argument; then [ii, y], at “In some places etc.,” by the authority of law. He notes first that a fair repayment will be determined according to the help a person receives from a friend’s benefit in useful friendship and from pleasure acquired in pleasurable friendship. Buying, too, seems to be done in this fashion, that a man’s appraisal of a thing will be the price he pays for it. But the amount of help or pleasure derived from a benefit can best be known by the person receiving the help or pleasure. Consequently, it is necessary and just to make repayment according to his judgment.
1771. Next [ii, y], at “In some places,” he proves the same point by the authority of law. He observes that in some states the law prescribes that no redress is possible in voluntary agreements for one of the parties who afterwards pleads deception. If a person voluntarily trusts someone with a benefit or service, payment must be made according to the judgment of the person trusted in conformity with the conditions of the original exchange. For legislators are of the opinion that the person who was given the benefit at the outset ought to arrange the repayment more justly than he who granted it. They think this way because there are many things which are not valued at the same price by those who have them and by those who want to have them. Indeed, individuals apparently think that the goods they offer are worth a big price. But a return ought to be made according to the appraisal of the recipients.
1772. At “However, a man” [b, iii] he answers an implied question. He says that a man ought to estimate a benefit not at the price that he considers fair after he receives it but at the value he gave it before he received it.
Doubts on the Duties of Friendship
B. He now raises doubts concerning benefits and repayments to friends.
1. HE RAISES THE DOUBTS. — 1773
On the other hand these questions are raised: whether a man ought to give preference to his father in all matters and obey him; or ought he when ill to obey his doctor; or ought he when a soldier to obey his general. Likewise, must someone aid a friend in preference to a virtuous man? Must a person return a favor to a benefactor or oblige a friend, if unable to satisfy both?
2. HE SOLVES THEM.
a. By a general answer. — 1774
Certainly it is not easy to come to a decision in all such contingencies; for they vary greatly in degree, merit, and necessity. However, it is clear that all the deferences are not to be rendered to the same person.
b. By specific answers.
i. He solves the third doubt.
x. WHAT MUST BE OBSERVED GENERALLY. — 1775
As a rule a man ought to recompense a benefactor rather than present gifts to friends, just as he ought to repay a loan rather than make one to a friend.
y. A CASE WHERE THIS STATEMENT DOES NOT HOLD. — 1776
Perhaps this course is not always to be followed, for instance, in a case of ransom from robbers. Ought a man to ransom a person—whoever he may be—who has freed him from prison? Or ought he to repay the benefactor, who is not a captive, but asks repayment? Or ought he ransom his father even before himself?
z. HOW WE MUST OBSERVE WHAT WAS SAID PREVIOUSLY.
aa. He explains his intention. — 1777-1778
It is then a general rule that a debt should be paid, as we have stated. But if a gift has a special goodness or urgency it ought to be given. For sometimes previous benefits must not be returned equally, for example, when the benefit is bestowed on a person known to be virtuous but compensation is paid to the other who is considered wicked. Indeed a loan is not always to be made to a man who has given a loan; for the lender looks for profit from a good man, but the good man lends with no hope of gain from 10 ‘a bad man. Therefore, if all this is true, no equality is present; if it is not really true, but only thought to be then the action will not seem unreasonable.
bb. He deduces a corollary from the discussion. — 1779
As we have indicated many times, discussions about our passions and actions have that definiteness belonging to their subject matter.
ii. He solves the first doubt.
x. NOT ALL HONORS... TO A FATHER. — 1780-1781
It is obvious that the same honors are not to be paid everyone. Hence all homage is not given to a father, just as all sacrifices were not offered to Jove. Since different obligations are due parents, brothers, friends, and benefactors, what is proper and becoming ought to be rendered to each group. And such is apparently the custom. For people send wedding invitations to relatives belonging to the family and interested in its activities. For this reason they think that kindred particularly should meet at funerals.
y. WHAT HONORS ARE TO BE GIVEN TO CERTAIN PERSONS.
aa. He explains his intention. — 1782-1783
It seems that children should especially provide enough food for their parents; they are indebted to their parents for life itself, and should aid them rather than themselves in a spirit of honor similar to that given to the gods. However, a man should not render every honor to his parents nor the same honor to his father and mother, nor again to a philosopher and a general. To his father he ought to give the honor proper to a father, and to a mother honor belonging to a mother. Similarly, to all elderly persons he should show honor appropriate to age by rising for them, giving them seats, and so on. To friends and 30 brothers he should offer confidence and community of goods. Moreover, to kinsmen, fellow tribesmen, fellow citizens, and others of this standing, a person must always try to allot appropriate honor, and to accord each his due in conformity with propinquity and virtue or usefulness.
bb. In what cases judgment is easy... — 1784
Judgment in these matters is easy when people are of the same class, but difficult when they are of different classes. Nevertheless, we should not avoid the decision but make it as best we can.
COMMENTARY OF ST. THOMAS
1773. After the Philosopher has investigated the preservation of friendship by proportionate repayment, he now [III, B] raises doubts concerning benefits and repayments to friends. First [B, 1] he raises the doubts; then [B, 2], at “Certainly it is not etc.,” he solves them. In treating the initial point he presents three doubts. The first is whether a man must assist his father in all matters and obey him rather than anyone else, or whether he must obey other persons in some matters. For example, must a feverish or sick patient obey the doctor before his father; ought a soldier follow the general’s orders rather than his father’s? The second doubt: whether someone is bound to help his friend in preference to a virtuous person. The third doubt: whether a man ought to make a return to a benefactor for a favor before he makes a present to a friend, if unable to satisfy both.
1774. Next [B, 2], at “Certainly it is not,” he solves these questions: first [2, a] by a general answer; second [2, b], at “As a rule a man ought etc.,” by specific answers. He remarks first that it is not easy to decide all these questions with certitude, because their many variations can be considered in all sorts of ways-for instance, the greater or less degree that someone is a good man or friend or benefactor. Likewise, there is a difference sometimes in goodness or necessity. Thus it seems to be better to help a virtuous person or a friend but more necessary to help a benefactor. However, in these matters all the deference is not to be given to the same person, but one kind to some and another kind to others.
1775. At “As a rule” [2, b] he solves previous questions by specific answers. First [b, i] he solves the third doubt. Then [b, ii], at “It is obvious etc.,” he solves the first doubt, and this is understood to include the solution to the second doubt. He treats the first point under three aspects. First [i, x] he teaches what must be observed generally. He notes that a man should make a return to a benefactor before making a present to a friend, if it is not possible to do both. The reason is that a person is bound in honor to return benefits in the same way he is bound to repay a loan in legal justice.
1776. Second [i, y], at “Perhaps this course etc.” he offers a case where this statement does not hold. He says that what has been affirmed is not always to be observed, for instance, in the event that someone can be freed from robbers. It can be uncertain which of three choices should be made. First, ought a man to liberate from robbers a person—whoever he may be—who ransomed him from prison at one time? Or, second. ought a man repay this benefactor who has not been captured but asks a return in some other form? Or, third, ought a man to ransom his father from robbers? The third choice must be made in preference to the others, because it seems that a man is bound to ransom his father even before himself.
1777. Third [i, z], at “It is then etc.,” he shows how we must observe what was said previously. First [z, aal he explains his intention. Next [z, bb], at “As we have indicated etc.,” he deduces a corollary from the discussion. He remarks first that his preceding directive, that we must pay a debt rather than give presents, is to be generally observed. But if a gratuitous gift has a special goodness (say a very Virtuous an needs assistance) or urgency (for example, someone is in a position to ransom his father) it ought to be given preference. For the return, which a person makes for previous benefits, sometimes cannot be equalized by a gratuitous gift; for example, when on the one hand the benefit is bestowed on a man known to be virtuous, and on the other a return is made to him who is considered to be wicked.
1778. Nor is it surprising that a benefactor must not be repaid sometimes, for a person is not always bound to accommodate someone who has accommodated him. Sometimes a bad man does a favor for a good man, thinking to make a profit out of it. But the good man does not expect gain from a loan to a bad man. If then the man is really bad, obviously there is no equality between what should be returned to him and to the virtuous person. If, however, the benefactor is not really bad but the recipient thinks so, it does not seem unreasonable to make a gift to the good man instead.
1779. Then [z, bb], at “As we have indicated,” he deduces a corollary from the discussion. Obvious from our present study (1774-1778) is the truth we have affirmed many times that discussions about human actions and passions cannot settle anything with certitude; likewise they cannot settle the matters treated by human actions and passions.
1780. Next [b, ii], at “It is obvious,” he solves the first doubt. First [ii, x] he explains that not all honors are to be shown to a father. Second [ii, y], at “It seems that etc.,” he decides what honors are to be given to certain persons. He notes first that evidently not the same honors are to be paid everyone. Hence all homage is not to be offered to a father, just as all sacrifices among the pagans were not offered to Jove but some were given to the other gods. Different obligations are due to parents, brothers, friends, benefactors; hence those which are proper and belong to each group are to be attributed to them. Likewise, the same notion is applicable to virtuous persons.
1781. In fact, people seem to act in this way; they send wedding invitations to all those who belong to the family, since, as a result of weddings, the family is increased. They also invite their kindred to activities connected with weddings. For the same reason men think that relatives should meet in kedea or council to discuss matrimonial matches.
1782. At “It seems that” [ii, y] he shows what honors are to be given to certain persons. First [y, aa] he explains his intention. Then [y, bb], at “Judgment in these matters etc.,” he shows in what cases judgment is easy and in which difficult. He says that in the matter of food, it seems that children ought to provide enough for their parents before all others. They are indebted in this way to their parents as the authors of their existence by generation. Consequently, in matters belonging to the conduct of life itself, they should aid their parents rather than themselves. Likewise, men owe honor to their parents, the authors of their existence, as to the gods.
1783. However, man is not bound to render every honor to his parents, since he neither owes the same honor to father and mother, nor does he owe his father the honor due a philosopher or a general. But a son ought to give his father the honor proper to a father, and to his mother the honor that belongs to a mother. Similarly, one should show honor to an elderly citizen on account of his age by rising and bowing to him and so on. Besides he ought to trust and share what he has with friends and brothers, and also with kinsmen, fellow tribesmen, fellow citizens and others of this standing. A person must always try to allot to everyone what is appropriate and to accord each his due in conformity with the dignity of age or virtue like wisdom, and with the exercise of an office like military commander.
1784. Then [y, bb], he shows where this is easy and where difficult. He remarks that judgment in such matters is easy when people belong to one class. For example, of two relatives we must help rather the closer; of two wise men, the wiser. But it is more difficult to make judgment if people are of different classes, for instance, whether we ought to help a wiser person in preference to a near relative. Although this matter is hard to decide, nevertheless we should not shirk its consideration but settle the problem as best we can.
Minor Doubts on the Dissolution of Friendship
I. HE INQUIRES WHEN A FRIENDSHIP SHOULD BE DISSOLVED.
A. He examines the dissolution of friendship for those who have changed.
1. HE PROPOSES THE DOUBT. — 1785
A question comes up—should or should not friendship be dissolved when people no longer remain the same?
2. HE OFFERS A SOLUTION FOR FRIENDSHIP BASED ON UTILITY AND PLEASURE.
a. In what manner these friendships are destroyed. — 1786
It is not surprising that friendship is broken off between people who are friends for utility or pleasure when these advantages no longer exist. Since the friendship was based on utility and pleasure that have ceased, it is reasonable for the friendship to cease.
b. How just complaints may arise in them. — 1787-1788
But someone will justly complain of a friend who loves for gain or pleasure but pretends to love for virtue. As we remarked in the beginning,’ many differences arise when people are not friends in the way they think they are. If then a person deceives himself in thinking he is being loved for virtue—the other doing nothing of the sort—he has only himself to blame. But if he is deceived by the pretense of the other he can blame the deceiver even more justly than he could blame counterfeiters, because the wrongdoing is against a more precious good.
3. (HE OFFERS A SOLUTION) FOR FRIENDSHIP BASED ON VIRTUE.
a. This friendship should be broken off between those who do not remain virtuous.
i. He repeats the question. — 1789
If, however, a person is accepted as good but later becomes bad, and this is apparent, should he still be loved?
ii. He answers the question again. — 1790
It is quite impossible, for not everything should be loved but only good. Neither is it reasonable to be a lover of evil nor to become like an evil man; and we have indicated that like makes friends with like.”
b. How (this friendship) is to be broken off.
i. He asks the question. — 1791
Should the friendship then be broken off immediately?
ii. He answers (it). — 1792
Not always, but only when friends are confirmed in evil. If they will accept guidance, we are even more bound to help them morally than we should be to assist them financially; for this is more noble and more proper to friendship. But when a man breaks off such a friendship he does nothing unreasonable; he was not a friend to such a person and consequently withdraws from the friendship of one who has changed and cannot be regenerated.
B. He examines the dissolution of friendship for those who remain in the same status.
1. HE RAISES THE QUESTION. — 1793
If, however, one friend remains the same but the other becomes better so that a greater difference in virtue exists between them, should the more advanced cultivate the other?
2. HE SOLVES (IT). — 1794
No. He cannot. This becomes evident especially among friends of the remote past, for instance, in friendships begun in childhood. For, if one remains a child mentally and the other becomes very talented, they will have no way of being friends since they do not find satisfaction or delight or pain in the same things; they do not even share them with one another. And without this sharing, friendship is impossible. But we have already treated these questions.
II. HE SHOWS HOW A PERSON SHOULD BEHAVE TOWARDS A FRIEND AFTER THE DISSOLUTION OF FRIENDSHIP.
A. He asks the question. — 1795
Is a person then to behave toward him no differently than if he had not been a friend?
B. He answers (it). — 1796
He should remember the former intimacy; and as we think a man ought to act more kindly toward friends than strangers, so he should make some concessions to former friends by reason of past friendship, provided that the separation was not due to extreme wickedness.
COMMENTARY OF ST. THOMAS
1785. After the Philosopher has investigated the questions pertaining to the preservation of friendship, he now treats the questions dealing with its dissolution. He discusses this point under two headings. First [I] he inquires when a friendship should be dissolved. Then [II], at “Is a person then etc,” he shows how a person should behave towards a friend after the dissolution of friendship. He treats the first point from two aspects. First [I, A] he examines the dissolution of friendship for those who have changed from their former status. Next [I, B], at “if, however, one etc.,” he examines the dissolution of friendship for those who remain in the same status. He handles the first point in a threefold manner. First [A, 1] he proposes the doubt. Second [A, 2], at “It is not surprising etc.,” he offers a solution for friendship based on utility and pleasure; and third [A, 3], at “If, however, a person etc.,” for friendship based on virtue. He says first that a question comes up—should or should not friendship be dissolved for those who do not remain in the same state in which they were friends?
1786. Then [A, 2], at “It is not surprising,” he solves the doubt so far as it concerns useful or pleasurable friendship. First [2, a] he shows in what manner these friendships are destroyed. Next [2, b], at “But someone will etc.,” he explains how just complaints may irisc in them. He observes first that it is not surprising for friendship to be broken up between people who are friends for utility or pleasure when the advantages no longer exist. The reason is that in these friendships men love pleasure and utility, and not the persons for themselves. Hence, when utility or pleasure ceases it is understandable that friendship should cease.
1787. At “But someone will” [2, b] he shows how complaints may justly arise in these friendships. He remarks that someone will fairly complain of a friend who loves for gain or pleasure but pretends to love for virtue. We stated in the beginning of this treatise that there are several varieties of friendship. Hence it is possible that some are not,friends in the way they think they are, i.e., according to the same kind of friendship. For instance, if they are friends for utility and think they are friends for the sake of virtue. In this case, if a man believes he is loved for virtue and deceives himself—the one who loves him contributing nothing to the deception—he ought to blame himself.
1788. But when a person is deceived by the pretense of the other, he can accuse the deceiver even more justly than he could counterfeiters, for the malice of a person pretending virtue consists in an act against a more precious good. Certainly virtue is more precious than money. So people counterfeiting virtue are more wicked than those who forge money.
1789. Next [A, 3], at “If, however, a person,” he answers the question as it concerns friendship based on virtue. First [3, a] he shows that this friendship should be broken off between those who do not remain virtuous; then [3, b], at “Should the friendship etc.,” how it is to be broken off. He treats the first point from two aspects. First [a, i] he repeats the question. if we should admit a person to our friendship as a good man and he later becomes so bad that his wickedness is obvious: should we still love him?
1790. Then [a, ii], at “It is quite,” he answers the question again making two comments. One, it is impossible for the evildoer, whose wickedness is evident, to be loved by a virtuous man who cannot love everything but only the honorable good. Second, it is unreasonable to love a man who has become evil; it is neither useful nor fitting, since a person should not love evil nor become like a perverse man. This might follow if friendship were preserved with an evil man. We have indicated ( 1654) that like makes friends with like; thus it is impossible to maintain friendship with an evil person without becoming somewhat like him in evil.
1791. At “Should the friendship” [3, b] he shows how this friendship should be broken off. First [b, i] he asks the question: should a person immediately dissolve a friendship with a man who has become bad?
1792, Second [b, ii], at “Not always,” he answers the question, replying that we should not immediately break off this friendship with all persons but only with those who are incurable owing to their excessive wickedness (i.e., cannot be returned readily to the path of virtue). But if some would accept guidance so they could come back to a virtuous status, they ought to be given more assistance to regain good morals than lost possessions; for virtue is more noble and more proper to friendship than money. And when someone breaks off friendship with one who has become bad he does not seem to do anything unreasonable, because he was not a friend to a vicious but a virtuous person. Consequently, a friend reasonably withdraws from the friendship with a man who his changed from his previous condition and cannot he regenerated.
1793. Next [I, B], at “If, however, one,” he treats the dissolution of friendship. First [ B, 1] he raises the question. One friend may remain in his former condition but the other becomes more virtuous; and thus a great difference in virtue may exist between the two. Hence the question arises whether the person who has advanced in virtue ought to treat as a friend the other who has made no advance.
1794. Second [B, 2], at “No. He cannot,” he solves the question, observing that it is impossible for the one who is advancing in virtue to continue friendship with him who is standing still. This is especially apparent among friends of the remote past, e.g., in friendships begun in childhood. For, if one remains a child mentally while the other becomes very talented they cannot go on being friends, since they do not have the same tastes, nor are they delighted and pained by the same things. And without this it is impossible to preserve friendship which requires most of all that friends live together. But they cannot live with one another unless they are pleased, delighted, anddistressed by the same objects. These questions have been discussed already (1607-1623).
1795. Then [II], at “Is A person then,” he investigates how someone ought to behave towards a friend after the dissolution of the friendship. First [II, A] he asks the question whether, after severing the friendship, a person should no longer behave on rather friendly terms, just as if he had not been a friend in the past.
1796. Next [II, B], at “He should he answers the question in this wayA man should remember a former intimacy, as we think he should act more kindly towards friends than strangers. So too because of a past friendship a man ought to act more kindly towards persons who were once his friends, except in the one case where separation from the friend was due to his excessive wickedness. For then a man should show no marks of friendliness to another whose friendship he has terminated.
The Acts or Effects of Friendship
I. HE INDICATES THE EFFECTS OF FRIENDSHIP.
A. He lists the effects of friendship.
1. HE DESCRIBES THE ORIGIN OF THE EFFECTS... OF FRIENDSHIP. — 1797
Kindly acts done for friends, and the determining factors in friendship, seem to be derived from a man’s attitude towards himself.
2. HE LISTS THESE EFFECTS OR ACTS.
a. One consists in the voluntary offering of benefits. — 1798
A friend is defined: (a) as one who wills and does what is good (or apparently good) for the sake of his friend.
b. The second... is proper to good will — 1799
(b) Likewise as one who wills that his friend exist and live for the friend’s sake—mothers feel this toward their children, and former friends toward one another after a quarrel.
c. The third... is proper to concord. — 1800-1801
(c) As one who lives with another and (d) has the same tastes, or (e) shares the same sorrows and joys with his friend. (This, too, happens especially with mothers.) Now friendship will be defined by some one of these characteristics.
B. He shows how good men are disposed towards (the effects of friendship).
1. HOW A VIRTUOUS PERSON REFERS THESE EFFECTS TO HIMSELF.
a. He proposes his intention. — 1802
Each of these is the standard of the virtuous man in relation to himself, and of other men in relation to themselves inasmuch as they consider themselves virtuous.
b. He gives his reason for his previous remark. — 1803
As we have pointed out, virtue and the virtuous man seem to be a standard for everyone.
c. He clarifies his principal proposition.
i. The virtuous man himself suitably has what is proper to beneficence. — 1804-1805
For he is consistent with himself, always desiring the same things with his whole soul; he wAes for himself both genuine and apparent goods, and produces them. Indeed it is the mark of a good man to take pains to achieve the good, and he does this for himself, i.e., for the sake of the intellectual part which seems to be a man’s real self.
ii. What is proper to goodwill. — 1806-1807
Likewise, he desires his own life and preservation and especially that of his thinking faculty. For existence is a good to a virtuous man and everyone wishes what is good for him. No one would choose to have everything which exists at the price of becoming someone else. (God even now possesses the good, but he always is what he is at any time.) And it seems that the thinking part of man is the man himself or at least the most important part.
iii. What is proper to concord.
x. IN REGARD TO COMPANIONSHIP. — 1808
Such a man wishes to converse with himself. He does this with pleasure, for memory of past triumphs is sweet, and hope for the future is encouraging. Besides, his mind is filled with topics for contemplation.
y. THE VIRTUOUS MAN IS AT PEACE WITH HIS OWN PASSIONS. — 1809-1810
He keenly feels his own sorrows and joys, for the same thing is painful or pleasant to his whole being, and not one thing to one part and another to another. To tell the truth, he has few regrets. Therefore, each of these characteristics is attributable to the virtuous man himself.
2. HOW HE REFERS (THESE EFFECTS) TO SOMEONE ELSE. — 1811
However, he feels toward his friend as toward himself, for a friend is an other self. Consequently, friendship seems to consist in any of these characteristics, and people who have them are friends.
3. HE RAISES A QUESTION. — 1812
But whether a person has friendship for himself is a question that must be dismissed for the present. Friendship seems to exist inasmuch as there are two or more having the characteristics mentioned; and if the b friendship excels it is similar to the love of a man for himself.
C. He shows how bad men are disposed towards (the effects of friendship).
1. THESE WORKS CANNOT BELONG TO EVIL MEN.
a. He proposes his intention. — 1813
The attributes discussed seem to belong to the greater part of mankind who, though wicked, apparently have a share of them insofar as they are satisfied with themselves and think themselves virtuous. But none of the thoroughly perverse or wicked either actually have these attributes or appear to have them; even the lesser evildoers hardly have them.
b. He explains his proposition.
i. Bad men are not suitable to have the work belonging to beneficence. — 1814
They differ, though, from one another in desiring one pleasure and wishing for another; they are like the incontinent who choose harmful pleasures instead of those that they really think are good for them. Again, others from faintheartedness or laziness avoid doing what they are convinced is in their best interests.
ii. Nor that belonging to good will. — 1815
But those who commit many cruel deeds and are hated for their wickedness seek to avoid living, and take their own life.
iii. Nor that belonging to concord.
x. REGARDING COMPANIONSHIP. — 1816
Wicked people therefore seek association with their own kind; they cannot stand themselves, being mindful of many unpleasant deeds in the past and believing, if alone, they will do the same in the future. But when in the company of others they are disposed to forget. Thus they do not experience friendship for themselves, having nothing in them worth loving.
y. WITH THEIR PASSIONS. — 1817
People of this sort neither rejoice nor grieve with themselves, for their soul is at the same time delighted and distressed when abstaining from certain pleasures. Thus it is drawn this way and that as if by conflicting forces.
z. HE ELIMINATES A DOUBT. — 1818
If it is impossible to grieve and rejoice at the same time, it is still true that a person can regret after a little while that he indulged in pleasures and wish that he had not acquired a taste for them. In fact a bad man is filled with remorse. It seems then that the evil person is not amicably inclined even towards himself, for he has nothing lovable about him.
2. HE DEDUCES A COROLLARY. — 1819
If to be in such a state is wretched, a man ought to shun evil with great ardor and make every effort to be virtuous. In this way he will acquire friendship for himself and will become a friend of another.
COMMENTARY OF ST. THOMAS
1797. After the Philosopher has defined the preservation and dissolution of friendship, he now treats its effects. First [I] he indicates the effects of friendship. Then [Lect. 5; II], at “Goodwill resembles etc.” (B.1166 b 30), he describes them. He discusses the first point in a threefold manner. First [I, A] he lists the effects of friendship. Second [I, B], at “Each of these etc.,” he shows how good men are disposed towards them; third [I, C], how bad men are disposed towards them, at “The attributes discussed etc.” He treats the first point under two aspects. First [A, 1] he describes the origin of the effects or acts of friendship. Next [A, 2], at “A friend is defined etc.,” he lists these effects or acts. He says first that the kindnesses and friendly acts that are done by a man for a friend and are the determining factors in friendship seem to have their origin in his attitudes towards himself. Thus it seems that one person is a friend of another if he acts the same way for a friend as he might for himself.
1798. Next [A, 2], at “A friend is defined,” he lists the works of friendship, which are three. One consists in the voluntary offering of benefits [2, a]. He observes that people consider someone a friend who wills and does what is good or apparently good for the sake of his friend. He says “wills and does” because one without the other is not enough for friendship. In fact the good deed does not seem to be friendly if a person unwillingly benefits another or neglects to do his will by action. He says “what is good or apparently good” because now and then someone for friendship gives another presents he thinks good for the other, though they are not. He says “for the sake of his friend” because if a man were voluntarily to give benefits to another not-as it were-intending the other’s good but his own (e.g., when an owner feeds a horse because he derives profit for himself), he does not seem to be a friend of that person but of himself.
1799. The second work, which he describes at “Likewise as one who wills etc.,” is proper to goodwill [2, b]. He remarks that a friend wills his friend to be and to live for his friend’s sake and not for his own, as would be the case were he to seek only personal gain from him. Mothers feel this way towards their children, i.e., will their existence and life. Friends, too, have a similar feeling toward one another when a misunderstanding occurs in their friendship. Even though they do not want to live together on friendly terms because of the misunderstanding, at least they wish their friends to exist and live.
1800. The third work is described at “As one who lives etc.,” and is proper to concord [2, c]. This can be considered in reference to three characteristics. The first refers to exterior association; the second to discrimination; the third to the emotional states which always end in joy or sorrow. Hence he observes that people call someone a friend who has close contact with another (the first characteristic), has the same tastes (the second), and shares sorrows and joys (the third). These are also noticed in mothers with respect to their children.
1801. He adds, by way of summary, so to speak, that friendship is defined by some one of these characteristics; for people think there is friendship in men having any one of these qualities.
1802. Then [I, B], at “Each of these,” he shows how good men are constituted in this matter. First [B, 1] he shows how a virtuous person refers these effects to himself; next [B, 2], at “However, he feels etc.,” how he refers them to someone else. Last [B, 3] at “But whether a person etc.,” he raises a question. He considers the first point under three aspects. First [1, a] he proposes his intention. Second [ 1, b], at “As we have pointed out etc.,” he gives his reason for his previous remark. Third [i, cl, at “For he is consistent etc.,” he clarifies his principal proposition. He says first that all these characteristics belong to a virtuous man in relation to himself, and they belong to other men who are not virtuous in relation to themselves at least inasmuch as they think they are virtuous.
1803. At “As we have pointed out” [1, b] he gives his reason for what is referred to under the second heading. Every man in fact does friendly acts for himself insofar as he considers himself virtuous, since virtue and the good man seem to be a standard for everyone. For what is the perfect being in any order of reality must be considered a measure in that order, because all other things are judged more or less perfect according as they approach or recede from what is most perfect. Consequently, since virtue is the proper perfection of man and the virtuous man is perfect in the human species, this should be taken as the measure in all man’s affairs.
1804. Next [1, c], at “For he is consistent,” he clarifies his principal proposition. First [c, i] he shows that the virtuous man himself suitably has what is proper to beneficence; second [c, ii], what is proper to goodwill, at “Likewise, he desires etc.”; third [c, iii], what is proper to concord, at “Such a man etc.” He says first that the virtuous man desires for himself both genuine and apparent goods, for these latter are identical with genuine goods for him; the reason is that he wishes the goods of virtue, the real good of man. Nor is this desire ineffective in him, but he produces these goods for himself because it is a mark of a good man to labor for the achievement of good.
1805. We said in the second book that virtue makes its possessor good and his work good (222, 307, 309)And the virtuous person wants this and acts for himself, i.e., for the sake of the intellectual element which is foremost in man. Indeed everything seems to be especially what is foremost in it. But the virtuous man strives always to do what is reasonable. It is evident then that he always wishes for himself the absolute good.
18o6. Then [c, ii], at “Likewise, he desires,” he shows that the virtuous man himself suitably has what belongs to goodwill. The Philosopher remarks that the virtuous man especially wishes himself life and conservation in being chiefly for that part of the soul where wisdom resides. If a man is virtuous he must want what is good for him because everyone desires good things for himself. But the good of a virtuous man is that he be virtuous.
1807. However, if a man were to become something else—e.g., if he were transformed into a stone or an ass as the fables relate—he would not trouble himself about whether he had all good things in his transformed state. For that reason everyone wishes himself to exist so that his identity is preserved. But the being that remains identical in his existence is God; he does not wish himself some good he does not now possess but possesses perfect good in himself. He always is what he is at any time, since he is unchangeable. Now we are like God most of all by our intellect which is incorruptible and unchgnueable, Therefore every man’s existence is thought of in terms of his intellect. Hence, a virtuous ho lives entirely according to his intellect and reason especially wishes himself to exist and to live. He also wishes himself to exist and live according to what is permanent in him. On the other hand a person who wishes himself to exist and live chiefly in terms of his body, which is subject to change, does not really wish to be and to live.
1808. At “Such a man etc.” [c, iii] he shows how a virtuous man appropriately has in himself what is proper to concord. First [iii, x] in regard to companionship; he remarks that the virtuous man wishes most of all to converse with himself by turning to his soul and meditating alone. He does this with pleasure: first regarding the memory of past events since the recollection of former triumphs is sweet to him; second regarding hope for the future, for he anticipates success and this is pleasant to him; third regarding present knowledge, for his mind is filled with reflections, i.e., true and useful deliberations.
18og. Second [iii, y], at “He keenly etc.” Aristotlb shows that the virtuous man is at peace with his own passions. He keenly feels his own sorrows and joys since the same thing is painful or pleasant to his whole being (i.e., both the sensitive and intellectual part) and not one thing to one part and another to another. The reason is that his sensitive power is subject to reason to such an extent that it obeys reason’s prompting, or at least does not resist; for the virtuous man is not led by the passions of the sensitive part so that when passion subsides he must repent of having acted against reason. But he always acts according to reason and does not readily have regrets. Thus he is at peace with himself.
1810. He concludes by way of epilogue that the characteristics discussed are appropriate to a virtuous man in relation to himself.
1811. Next [B, 2], at “However, he feels,” he shows how a virtuous man should adapt these characteristics to his friend. Aristotle notes that a virtuous man is disposed to his friend as to himself because a friend is—so to speak—another self by affection, that is, a person feels for a friend what he feels for himself. Consequently, it seems that friendship consists in any of these characteristics that people experience toward themselves; and that those are real friends who have these characteristics.
1812. Then [ B, 3], at “But whether a person,” he raises a question—does a man have friendship toward himself? He observes that this question must be postponed since it is a semantic problem rather than a real one. Friendship seems to exist among any persons who possess two or three of the characteristics mentioned. And when the friendship for others excels, it is similar to the love a man has for himself. Consequently, someone wishing to prove his friendship for another is accustomed to say “I love you as myself.” Hence it doesn’t really make any difference whether the word frienship is applied to self, because the reality of friendship abundantly belongs to a man in regard to himself.
1813. At “The attributes discussed” [I, C] he shows how bad men are disposed toward these works of friendship. First [C, 1] he shows that these works cannot belong to evil men. Second [C, 2], at “If to be in such etc.,” he deduces a corollary from the discussion. He treats the first point from two aspects. First [C, 1, a] he proposes his intention. Then [C, 1, b], at “They differ, though etc.,” he explains his proposition. He says first that these works of friendship seem to belong to many in respect to themselves in spite of the fact that they are evil men. However, we must understand that the more they share in these works of friendship for themselves the more they are satisfied with themselves and think they are virtuous. But those who are completely perverse or wicked neither resort to these works nor seem to live together; and scarcely any evil man finds such behavior agreeable to him. Indeed there are few evil men who think they are virtuous or who are unaware of their wickedness.
1814. Next [C, 1, b], at “They differ, though,” he explains his proposition. First [b, i] he shows that bad men are not suitable to have the work of friendship belonging to beneficence; second, nor that belonging to goodwill, at “But those who etc.” [b, ii]; third, nor that belonging to concord, at “Wicked people, therefore etc.” [b, iii]. He remarks first that bad men are at odds with themselves because they desire some pleasures agreeing with their sensitive appetite at the same time that they wish others agreeing with their reason. Such is obviously the case with the incontinent who want harmful pleasures instead of those they reasonably judge good. Others from faintheartedness and laziness neglect to do what they know is good. Thus they are doubly lacking in beneficence towards themselves: in one way, so far as they do what is harmful; in the other, so far as they shun what is beneficial.
1815. Then [b, ii], at “But those who,” he shows that they are not suitable to have the work that belongs to goodwill. He observes that criminals who have perpetrated many frightful deeds-so that their very personalities are hated by men-do not want to exist or live. But life becomes a burden for them because they know that they are offensive. And they actually so flee from life that they sometimes do away with themselves.
1816. At “Wicked people, therefore” [b, iii] he shows that evil men are not suitable to have the work that belongs to concord. First lb, iii, x] regarding companionship. Evil men cannot converse with themselves by turning to their soul but they seek to associate with others by speaking and co-operating with them in external words and works. They act in this way because when thinking alone about themselves they remember many distressing evils they committed in the past and they are convinced they will do the same in the future-this is painful to them. But when they are in company they forget their wrongdoings in the distraction of external activities. So, since they have nothing in themselves worth loving, they feel no love for themselves.
1817. Second [b, iii, y], at “People of this sort,” be explains that they can not find internal peace with their passions. He observes that people of this sort are not conscious of their own joys and sorrows. In fact their soul struggles against itself, for the sensitive part resists the reason. On the one hand it grieves, when withdrawing from pleasures, because of evil that dominates it and causes distress in the sensitive part; and on the other hand it rejoices according to reason that judges evil pleasures are to be avoided. In this way one part of the soul draws an evil man one way, but the other part draws him the opposite way; just as if his soul were rent into conflicting drives and fought with itself.
1818. Third [b, iii, z], at it is impossible’ he eliminates a doubt. Someone might contend that it is impossible for an evil person to grieve and rejoice at the same time about the same matter; and it is true so far as the two experiences are concerned, although each can be caused at the same time in different parts of the soul. He maintains then that if a wicked man cannot be pained and pleased at the same time, nevertheless shortly after the gratification he is saddened that he was delighted a moment ago, and wishes he had not indulged in such pleasures. Indeed evil men are filled with remorse because, after the impulse of evil or passion that caused the wickedness subsides, their reason tells them they did wrong and they are remorseful. It is obvious then that evil men are not inclined to friendship for themselves, for they have nothing in them worthy of friendship.
18 19. At “If to be in such” [ C, 2 ] he concludes from the premises that, if it is so extremely wretched to live without friendship for oneself, we ought to shun evil with increased ardor, and make every effort to become virtuous. For in this way a person will have friendship for himself and be capable of becoming a friend to others.
II. HE NOW TREATS (THE ACTS OF FRIENDSHIP) INDIVIDUALLY.
A. Concerning goodwill which consists in an interior affection for a person.
1. GOOD WILL IS NOT FRIENDSHIP.
a. In its habitual character.
i. He states his intention. — 1820
Goodwill resembles but is not really friendship.
ii. He proves his statement. — 1821
For goodwill may be felt towards people who are unknown to us or who are unaware of it, but not friendship—questions we have discussed already.
b. Nor is it love in terms of passion (for two reasons).
i. First. — 1822
Nor is it love, for it does not include intensity or desire; and these effects follow love.
a. He proves (it). — 1823
Moreover, love is accompanied by familiarity while goodwill may arise suddenly, as it does toward athletes in contests; spectators become well disposed and sympathetic to the contestants but will take no active part, for they feel goodwill suddenly and love only superficially.
2. (GOODWILL) IS THE BEGINNING OF FRIENDSHIP.
a. He proves it. — 1824-1825
Goodwill certainly seems to be the beginning of friendship, as pleasure derived from seeing is the beginning of love. For no one loves who has not been first delighted by what he has seen. However, a man who delights in the form of another does not therefore love him; but there is love if he desires the beloved when he is absent and longs for his presence. In a similar way people cannot become friends unless they first have goodwill. But they are not therefore friends, since the benevolent only wish good to others but are neither active in their behalf nor distressed by their misfortunes. Therefore, by extension of meaning, goodwill can be called an ineffective friendship, though it does develop into friendship from continual and habitual goodwill.
b. Which friendship has goodwill as its beginning.
i. Which... does not have.
x. HE STATES HIS INTENTION. — 1826
But it is not friendship based on utility nor that based on pleasure.
y. HE PROVES HIS STATEMENT. — 1827-1828
For there is no place for goodwill in these friendships. In that for utility the recipient is merely acting justly when he returns goodwill for benefits received; and the person who wishes another to prosper in the hope of getting rich by means of him does not seem to have goodwill to the other but to himself. Likewise, a man is not a friend who is anxious about someone in order to make some use of him.
ii. Which (friendship) does (have goodwill as its beginning). — 1829
As a general rule goodwill is created by reason of virtue and equity when a person seems to another to be good or brave or the like in the way competing athletes do, as we have pointed out.
COMMENTARY OF ST. THOMAS
1820. After the Philosopher has shown what the works of friendship are and who does them, he now treats the works individually [II]. These works of friendship can be reduced to three: beneficence, goodwill, and concord-as we have indicated ( 1789-1801). So he now delineates the three of them. First [II, A], concerning goodwill that consists in an interior affection for a person. Second [Lect. 6; II B], at “Likewise, concord etc.” (B. 1167 a 21), concerning concord which consists also in affection but based on personal considerations. Third [Lect. 7; II, C], at “Benefactors seem etc.” (B.1167 b 16), concerning beneficence that consists in exterior proof of friendship. He considers two aspects of the first point. First [A, 1] he shows that goodwill is not friendship; then [A, 2], at “Goodwill certainly etc.,” that it is the beginning of friendship. He discusses the first point in a twofold manner. First [i, a] he shows that goodwill is not friendship in its habitual character; next [i, b], at Nor is it etc.,” nor is it love in terms here of passion, as noted in the eighth book (1602). He treats the first point under two headings. First [a, i] he states his intention, observing that goodwill seems to resemble friendship inasmuch as all friends must be of goodwill.
1821. Second [a, ii], at “For goodwill may be,” he proves his statement by two arguments. The first is that goodwill can be felt for strangers whose acquaintance one does not have from familiar association. But this is impossible in friendship. The second argument is that goodwill can be unknown to the person who has our goodwillthis cannot be said of friendship. These questions were discussed in the beginning of the eighth book (1560).
1822. Then [1, b], at “Nor is it love,” he shows that goodwill is not love for two reasons. The first [1, b, i] is that goodwill does not include intensity of soul or desire, i.e., passion of the sensitive appetite which by its impulse extends the soul with a kind of violence towards an enticing object. This occurs in the passions of love but not in goodwill, which consists in a simple movement of the will.
1823. He assigns the second reason at “Moreover, love” [1, b, ii]. He remarks that love is accompanied by familiarity, for it indicates a vehement impulse of the soul, as was just stated. But the soul is not accustomed to be moved instantly and with vehemence towards an object, but is led gradually to what is greater. Therefore, love increases by means of familiarity. But, since goodwill implies a simple movement of the will, it can arise suddenly, for instance, when people watch athletic contests. The spectators become kindly disposed to one of the two contestants and would be pleased if this particular athlete won. However, they would do nothing to bring this about, because men are instantly benevolent and love superficially, i.e., according to a mere feeble movement of the will that does not break forth into action.
1824. Next [A, 2], at “Goodwill certainly,” he shows that goodwill is the beginning of friendship. He handles this point in a twofold manner. First [2, a] he proves that goodwill is the beginning of friendship. Second [2, b], at “But it is not etc.,” he shows which friendship has goodwill as its beginning. He observes that goodwill is called the beginning of friendship, as pleasure at the sight of a woman is the beginning of love for her. For no one begins to love a woman unless he has been first delighted by her beauty. However, when a man is pleased at the sight of a woman’s form he does not immediately love her. But it is sign of complete love that he desires her, as if he feels her absence keenly and longs for her presence when she is absent. The same is true of friendship and goodwill, for it is impossible for people to be friends unless they have goodwill first.
1825. Nevertheless, they cannot be called friends from the fact that they have goodwill, because people of goodwill merely wish good to the objects of their benevolence; but not to the extent of doing good deeds for them nor of being distressed by their misfortunes. Consequently, it can be said, changing our way of speaking, that goodwill is a kind of lazy friendship because it is not joined with any friendly activity. But when a person continues a long time in goodwill and becomes used to wishing well to anyone, his soul is strengthened in willing good, so that his will is not idle but active. In this way friendship arises.
1826. At “But it is not” [2, b] he shows which friendship has goodwill as its beginning. First [2, b, i] which friendship does not have goodwill as its beginning; then [2, b, ii], at “As a general rule,” which does. He discusses the first point in a twofold manner. First [i, x] he states his intention. He notes that goodwill is not raised by length of time and habit to the genuine kind of friendship that is based on utility or pleasure.
1827. Second [i, y], at “For there is no place,” he proves his statement. Goodwill does not develop into that friendship which has no room for it. But goodwill has no place in the friendships just mentioned. This is obvious in pleasurable friendship where each friend desires from the other his own enjoyment—a thing that is sometimes accompanied by harm to the other, thus destroying goodwill. However, goodwill is possible in useful friendship, so far as concerns the recipient of benefits; for he returns goodwill at least for the benefits he has received, if he acts justly.
1828. If one wishes another to be healthy and prosperous because he hopes to have an abundance of possessions through the other, he does not seem to have goodwill toward that other, from whom he hopes to become rich, but towards himself. Likewise a person does not seem to be a friend of someone who is anxious about that person’s good for his own advantage, i.e., in order to make some use of him.
1829. Then [2, b, ii], at “As a general rule,” he shows which friendship has goodwill as its beginning. Aristotle remarks that in general goodwill seems to exist for a person because of his virtue and equity; it seems to someone that the person, towards whom he is benevolent, is good or brave or the like—qualities which people are accustomed to praise. He notes this reaction we have manifested toward athletes for whom we have goodwill on account of the courage or similar virtue they seem to possess.
(II) B. He now considers concord.
1. HE EXPLAINS ITS NATURE.
a. The category of concord. — 1830
Likewise, concord seems to belong to friendship, and for this reason it is not identity of opinion that can exist among people unknown to one another.
b. Its subject matter.
i. What ... it does not concern. — 1831
Nor do we say that people are in concord who agree on any subject whatsoever, for example, the heavenly bodies. For common agreement on these questions does not pertain to the notion of friendship.
ii. The matters within concord’s competence.
x. IN GENERAL — 1832
But we do say that citizens of a state are in concord when they agree on what is useful and vote for the same measures, and work together to achieve them. Therefore they have concord about things to be done,
y. IN PARTICULAR — 1833-1835
which concern important matters capable of achievement by both or all parties. Thus the cit zens are in concord when they all think that public officials should be elected, or that they should become allies of the Spartans, or that Pittacus should be their ruler (when he is also willing to rule). But when two rivals want power, like the rivals in the Phoenissae [Euripides, The Phoenician Maidens, 588], they introduce discord. For there is no concord when each of the parties wants something for himself, but only when they want it for the same person, as the common people and the upper classes wish the best men torAile. In this case everyone gets what he strives after.
2. HOW (CONCORD) IS RELATED TO FRIENDSHIP AMONG CITIZENS. — 1836
Concord then seems to be friendship among citizens, as is commonly held. For it deals with affairs that advance their interests and concern their lives.
3. HE INDICATES THE POSSESSOR OF CONCORD.
a. It is found among virtuous men. — 1837-1838
Now this kind of concord is found among virtuous men, for they are in accord with themselves and with one another, being, so to speak, of one mind. Their wills remain constant and do not ebb and flow, like Euripos. They desire what is just and useful, and work together for these goals.
b. (It) is not found among bad men. — 1839
But it is impossible for vicious men to agree-except in a trifling way—just as it is impossible for them to be friends; for they desire a full share of the advantages but shirk their portion of labor and service. And while each man is intent on gaining these profits he watches his neighbor to prevent him from obtaining them (the public good is destroyed by lack of vigilance!). Consequently, contention arises when they force each other to give way but are unwilling to render justice them selves.
COMMENTARY OF ST. THOMAS
1830, After the Philosopher has defined goodwill, he now [II, B] considers concord. First [B, 1] he explains its nature; then 113, 21, at “Concord then etc how it is related to friendship among citizens. He discusses the first point under two aspects. First [1, a] he investigates the category of concord; second [1, b], at “Nor do we say etc.,” its subject matter. He says first that concord seems to belong to the category of friendship. We have already pointed out (1800) that friends characteristically make the same choices, and the formal reason of concord consists in this. obviously then concord is not homodoxia, meaning identity of opinion. It can happen that people who do not know one another hold the same opinion, although there is no concord among them, as there is no friendship.
1831. Then [1, b], at “Nor do we say,” he examines the subject matter of concord. First [b, i] he shows what matters it does not concern. He observes that men are not said to be in concord who agree on any subject whatsoever, like people who hold the same opinion about speculative questions, the heavenly bodies for instance. Common agreement on these truths does not pertain to the concept of friendship, because friendship arises from preference; but judgment in speculative problems is not derived from compulsory preference. Consequently, nothing prevents some friends from holding different views and others the same view& on these questions. It is evident then that concord, which pertains to the notion of friendship, does not deal with matters of this kind.
1832. Second [b, ii], at “But we do,” he shows the matters within concord’s competence. First [ii, x] he explains in general that it is concerned with things to be done. He remarks that citizens of a state are said to have concord among themselves when they agree on what is useful, so that they vote for the same measures and work together on projects they consider for their interests. Thus it is evident that concord deals with things to be done.
1833. Then [ii, y], at “which concern,” he explains in particular with what practicable matters concord is concerned. He indicates two kinds. One, that it refers to affairs having some importance; for people do not disrupt concord because of disagreement over minor points. The other, that matters of concord are of such a nature that they can belong to both agreeing parties, or even to all men or citizens of a state. if someone agrees with another that he may have what no one can possibly have, it is not of much concern to concord.
1834. He offers as an illustration states that are said to have concord, for example, when all the citizens hold the same opinion, that rulers should be determined by election and not by lot or succession; when the Athenians think they should form a military alliance with the Spartans to fight together against common enemies; when all the citizens agree that a particular man, Pindar, let us say, should be ruler (if however he be willing to rule). At such times people who have these wishes are said to be in concord.
1835. But when each wishes to rule they begin to quarrel, like the characters in the play Phoenissae. Indeed concord does not consist in the fact that both should wish good for themselves, however much there may seem to be a similarity to an equitable will, since everyone wishes good to himself. On the contrary it is a cause of discord. But in order to have concord, men must agree on the same numerical thing. For example, the common people and the upper classes are in agreement that the best men should rule. In this way, when everyone concurs in the same objective, all get what they are striving for.
1836. Next [B, 2], at “Concord then,” he shows how concord is related to friendship among citizens. He notes that political friendship, either between citizens of the same state or between different states, seems to be identical with concord. And people usually speak of it in this way: that states or citizens of one mind have friendship for one another.
1837. At “Now this kind” [B, 3] he indicates the possessor of concord. First [3, a] he shows that it is found among virtuous men; then [3, b], at “But it is impossible etc.,” that it is not found among bad men. He observes first that concord of the sort we have defined is found among those who are virtuous. These men behave in such a way that they are in accord with themselves and one another inasmuch as they do not change their mind either regarding choices or works. The reason is that good men seemingly are not given to regrets; we have already noted this (1592). He adds “so to speak” because it is impossible for men to have absolute immutability in this life.
1838. To explain the statement, he subjoins that they are of the same mind because the wills of these men remain fixed in good and do not change from one object to another, like Euripos, a strait along the coast of Greece where the water ebbs and flows. Such virtuous men wish what is just and useful, and they work together for these goals.
1839. Then [3, b], at “But it is impossible,” he shows that concord is not found among vicious men. He remarks that bad men cannot agree, except perhaps in a trifling way, any more than they can be friends. Consequently, they cannot be of one mind because they want more than their share of all the advantages but are unwilling to bear the labors-performed by the community and incumbent on them-and administrations, i.e., expenses or services of any kind. And while each one wishes this: to have more of the benefits and less of the burdens, he inquires about his neighbor and prevents him from obtaining what he himself covets. Thus while the common good of justice is not preserved, the common possession of concord among them is destroyed. In this way contention arises when a person forces another to observe justice towards him while he himself is not willing to render justice to the other but wants more advantages and less disadvantages—a condition that is against the equality of justice.
p style="text-align: center; margin-bottom: 0.125in">LECTURE 7
(II) C. He now considers beneficence.
1. HE STATES AN INCIDENT CONNECTED WITH IT. — 1840
Benefactors seem to love those they have benefited, more than those who are well treated love their benefactors.
2. HE RAISES A QUESTION. — 1841
This seems unreasonable and we look for an explanation.
3. HE ANSWERS THE QUESTION.
a. He gives an apparent reason. — 1842-1843
Many people think the reason is that beneficiaries are debtors while benefactors are creditors. Just as in the case of loans, borrowers wish that the lenders did not exist, but the latter worry about the welfare of their debtors; so the bestowers of benefits wish the recipients to live in order to receive their thanks, but the recipients care little about giving thanks. Epicharmus would perhaps say that people who are of this opinion look at things in a bad light. But it does have the appearance of being very human, for most men are forgetful and more desirous of getting benefits than giving them.
b. He gives the real reasons.
i. The first argument.
x. HE PREFERS THIS ARGUMENT TO THAT GIVEN EARLIER. — 1844
But perhaps the reason is more in the nature of things and there is no parallel in the case of lenders. For they do not love their debtors but wish them to be preserved for the sake of gain. On the other hand benefactors love and feel friendship for those who receive their benefactions even when the recipients are of no use now and may never be.
y. HE OFFERS THE FIRST ARGUMENT. — 1845-1847
This happens with craftsmen, for each one loves his product more than he would be loved by it were the product alive. Likewise, it occurs especially with poets who love their own poems doting on them as their children. A similar situation exists with benefactors, for the person benefited is the result of their efforts and they love him more than he loves them. The reason for this is that for all men their existence is a thing to be chosen and cherished. But our existence consists in an actuality, i.e., in living and operating, and the operation is in a way the agent in action. For this reason craftsmen love their products because they love their existence; and this is natural, for the product manifests in actuality what the agent is in potentiality.
ii. He presents his second argument.
x. THE ARGUMENT. — 1848
Then, too, for the benefactor his action is morally good, therefore he finds joy in its object. But to the recipient there is nothing noble in his relation to the giver. If any good exists, it is utilitarian and has less of pleasure and friendship.
y. HE PROVES IN TWO WAYS WHAT HE HAS SUBJOINED.
aa. In general. — 1849
However, there is pleasure about the present in activity, about the future in hope, and about the past in memory. But the most delightful of these is activity, and it is more lovable too. For the benefactor then his activity remains since good is enduring; but for the recipient the utility passes away.
bb. He proves the same point again. — 1850-1851
Likewise, the memory of noble things is pleasant but that of useful things is either not at all or, at best, to a less degree pleasant. On the other hand, the opposite seems to be true with expectation.
iii. Third argument. — 1852
Moreover, loving resembles activity, but being loved resembles passivity. Assuredly then those who excel in activity love and have the concomitants of love.
iv. Fourth argument. — 1853-1854
Besides, people have greater love for things they get as a result of labor. Thus, those who earn wealth value it more than those who inherit it. Now there is nothing burdensome about receiving a benefit but bestowing one involves much labor. For this reason mothers are fonder than fathers of their children; they suffer more pains in giving them birth; and they know better than fathers who their children are. And this, too, seems to be applicable to benefactors.
COMMENTARY OF ST. THOMAS
1840. After the Philosopher has defined goodwill and concord, he now [II, C] considers beneficence. First [C, 1] he states an incident connected with it, observing that benefactors seem to love those they benefit, more than those who are well treated love their benefactors.
1841. Second [C, 2], at “This seems,” he raises a question on this point, remarking that the statement is puzzling because it seems contrary to reason. For beneficiaries are bound because of debt to love their benefactors but not conversely.
1842. Third [C, 3], at “Many people,” he answers the question, assigning the reason for this phenomenon. First [3, a] he gives an apparent reason; then [3, b], at “But perhaps etc.,” he gives the real reasons. He says many think the reason is that beneficiaries are in debt to their benefactors. But a debt is owed to benefactors as to lenders. Now we see in the case of loans that borrowers wish their lenders did not exist, so as to be free of debt. On the other hand, lenders, who have payments coming, take care of the welfare of their debtors for fear of losing what is owed to them. So too benefactors wish existence and life to those they have benefited for the sake of receiving thanks from them. But beneficiaries are not solicitous about returning thanks but wish to be excused from this duty. For that reason they love their benefactors very little.
1843. The philosopher-poet Epicharmus in approving this reason might say that people who accept it consider men’s bad qualities; but it seems a common practice. In fact most people forget benefits and want to get more than they give.
1844. Then [3, b], at “But perhaps,” he assigns four real arguments. He makes two observations on the first argument [b, i]. First [i, x] he prefers this argument to that given earlier (1842-1843). He says that the reason for the statement just made seems to be the more natural one that is now offered, because it is taken from the nature of a benefit—unlike the reason assigned previously which is taken on the part of the lender. Lenders do not indeed love the people they oblige, but wish them preservation not for love but for profit. Benefactors, however, feel love and real affection for those who receive their benefactions even when the recipients are not at all useful now and without promise of usefulness later.
1845. Next [i, y], at “This happens,” he offers the first argument, observing that benefactors feel toward their beneficiaries the same way as artists feel towards their creations. Every craftsman loves his own product more than he would be loved by it were the product living by any chance. Apparently this is especially true of poets doting on their poems as parents on their children. Indeed, poems partake of reason-by which man is manto a greater degree than other mechanical works. There is a similarity here to what occurs when benefactors love those they have benefited; for a person who is well treated by another is in a way his product. For this reason benefactors love their product, i.e., the beneficiaries, more than the reverse.
1846. After giving the illustrations, he adds a general argument. The reason behind these statements is that existence is something chosen and cherished by everyone—to the extent that a thing exists it is good, and good is worthy of choice and lovable. But this existence consists in an actuality, for to exist is to live and consequently to operate. There can be no life without vital action of some kind. Hence the performance of vital actions is desirable to everyone. But the producer actually producing is in some way the work produced, for the action of the inover and cause is in the thing moved and caused. For that reason craftsmen, poets, and benefactors love their productions because they love their own existence; and it is natural that everything should love its own being.
1847. He clarifies his argument for this deduction that men love their creations, when he adds “the product manifests in actuality what the agent is in potentiality.” For a man exists inasmuch as he has a rational soul; the soul is the first act of a physical body having life potentially, i.e., being in potentiality to vital operations. So then man’s first esse consists in the fact that he has the capacity for vital actions. And the handiwork that a man produces in the actual exercise of vital activity indicates the reduction of this potentiality to actuality.
1848. He presents his second argument [ b, ii ] at “Then, too, for the benefactor,” and treats it from two aspects. First [ii, x] he gives the argument, stating that everyone loves his own good. But the benefactor’s good consists in his very act of bestowing benefits. For this reason the benefactor takes joy in his beneficiary, as the person in whom his good it attained. But the recipient, who accepts the benefit, finds nothing noble in the giver or benefactor; for it is not a virtuous act to receive benefits from another. But if he sees any good it is utilitarian, and this is less pleasing and lovable than a noble good. Thus, obviously, the benefactor is less worthy of love in the eyes of the beneficiary than conversely.
1849. Second [ii, y], at “However, there is etc.,” he proves in two ways what he has subjoined. First [y, aa], in general. What is pleasurable about the present is activity itself or operation; about the future, hope; about the past, memory. The most pleasurable of these is activity that is also more lovable than hope or memory. But for the benefactor the honorableness of his own activity remains, because an honorable good does not pass away quickly but is enduring. In this way he delights in the person he benefits as in a present good. But the utility that the recipient gets passes away easily. Thus the beneficiary delights in his benefactor as a memory of the past. Consequently, the honorable good that the benefactor finds in the beneficiary is more delightful and lovable than the useful good that the beneficiary sees in his benefactor.
1850. Next [y, bb], at “Likewise, the memory,” he proves the same point again; he observes that the memory of virtuous or honorable deeds, which a person performed in the past, is pleasant. But the memory of useful goods, which a person possessed at one time, is either not pleasant at all (as when he grieves over their loss) or is pleasant (as when he retains some) to a degree less than the memory of honorable goods. However, the contrary seems to be true about the expectation of future goods; it is more pleasant to look forward to useful than honorable goods.
1851. The reason for this diversity is that only a known good gives pleasure, not an unknown one. But no one knows an honorable good except the person who has it. Consequently, honorable goods are known if they are in the past but not if they are merely in the future. On the other hand, useful goods both past and future are known, but help from past goods has vanished. However, help from them in the future gives pleasure as a remedy against tomorrow’s needs. Hence a man is more delighted with the hope of useful goods than with their memory or even the hope of honorable goods. But he takes more pleasure in the memory of honorable goods than useful goods. Now a benefactor remembers an honorable good
but a beneficiary a useful one. Therefore, the beneficiary is more pleasing and lovable to the benefactor than the other way round.
1852. He presents the third argument at “Moreover, loving” [b, iii], remarking that loving is like activity; for it is characteristic of a lover to wish and to do good for the beloved. On the other hand, being loved is more like passivity. But the agent excels the patient. Consequently, it is reasonable that those excelling in acu*vity-such as benefactors, artists and poets-should love and have the consequent acts of love.
1853. He assigns the fourth argument at “Besides, people have” [b, iv]. Everyone prefers the results of his own work. So, those who by their own zeal and labor earn riches value them more highly than people who receive them as an inheritance from their parents or a donation from a benefactor—hence those receiving them in this manner are more generous, as we have pointed out in the fourth book (674). Now, for a person to receive a benefit requires no labor on his part. But for a person to confer a benefit is a laborious task demanding work and toil. It is reasonable then that benefactors love their beneficiaries more than the reverse.
1854. He strengthens his argument by giving the example of mothers who love their children more than fathers do: both because mothers bear heavier burdens than fathers in the generation of children by carrying and giving them birth and because mothers can know better than fathers who their children are. Likewise, it seems to be characteristic of benefactors to love their beneficiaries inasmuch as they labor for them.
Doubt Concerning Love of Self
I. HE STATES THE DOUBT.
A. He objects on one side. — 1855
Likewise the question arises whether a person should love himself most or someone else.
II. HE SHOWS ITS PLAUSIBILITY.
A. He objects on one side.
1. MEN CRITICIZE THOSE WHO LOVE THEMSELVES MOST. — 1856
For men criticize those who love themselves most, and call them self-lovers, as if this were a term of disgrace.
2. THE EVIL PERSON DOES EVERYTHING FOR GAIN. — 1857
The bad man apparently does everything for himself, and the more he acts this way, the worse he is. Therefore people complain that he does nothing unrelated to himself. On the other hand the virtuous man does what is honorable. And the better he is the more he works for the good and for his friend’s sake, even overlooking his own interests.
B. (He objects) on the other side.
1. FIRST... WE MUST LOVE BEST... OUR BEST FRIEND. — 1858
But the facts are not in agreement with the arguments presented, and this is hardly surprising. It is commonly held that we ought to love best the person who is our best friend. But that man who most wishes good to another for his sake is his best friend, even if no one will know about it. Certainly a man, in his attitude toward himself, best fulfills these conditions,
2. SECOND, HE INTRODUCES IN FAVOR OF THIS VIEW THE POINT HE HAS JUST MADE. — 1859
and indeed all other conditions which enter into the definition of a friend.
For, as has been pointed out, all the attributes of friendship are derived from this relationship, and are extended to other men.
3. THIRD, HE OFFERS SEVERAL PROVERBS. — 1860
Likewise, all the proverbs are in accord with this position. For example, “Friends are of one mind and heart”; “Friends share alike”; “Friendship is equality”; and “Friends are near as knee and shin.” Now all these sayings are verified especially of a person in relation to himself, for he is his own best friend, and therefore ought to love himself best.
C. He finishes doubting on the question. — 1861
It is questionable then which opinion we ought to follow, since both seem plausible.
III. HE OFFERS THE SOLUTION.
A. He determines the method of solution. — 1862
Perhaps in such discussions we must distinguish and determine both to what extent and in what way each side is expressing the truth. If we understand how each uses the expression “lover of self,” the truth may then be evident.
B. He gives the solution.
1. A MAN MAY BE CALLED LOVER OF SELF IN THE BLAMEWORTHY SENSE.
a. He explains his intention. — 1863-1864
People using it as a term of reproach call those self-loving who assign to themselves more than their share of money, honors, and physical pleasures. For these goods are desired and zealously sought as being best by most men, and as a result become a source of contention. Hence those who are plentifully supplied with such things gratify their desires and passions in general and the irrational part of their soul. But most men are like this, and so the epithet has been taken from the generally existing type that is evil. Men then, who are lovers of self in this sense, are justly condemned.
b. He proves his statement. — 1865
Obviously, it is the people who amass these goods for themselves who are usually called self-loving; for if a person were zealous above all else to do works of justice, or temperance, or any other virtue, devoting himself entirely to the acquisition of good, no one would censure such a man as a lover of self.
COMMENTARY OF ST. THOMAS
1855. After the Philosopher has treated the preservation and dissolution of friendship along with the works of friendship, he now raises some difficulties concerning it. First, on the part of the one who loves; then [Lect. 12], at “Should a man then etc.” (B. 1170 b 20), on the part of those who are loved. He discusses the first point from two aspects. First he solves the doubt concerning the love a person has for himself. Next [Lect. 11, at “Some doubt whether etc.” (B.1169 b 3), concerning the love a person has for others. He considers the first point in a three,fold manner. First [I] he states the doubt. Second [II], at “For men criticize etc.,” he shows its plausibility. Third [III], at “Perhaps in such etc.,” he offers the solution. He remarks first that a doubt exists whether a person should love himself most, or someone else more than himself.
1856. Then [II], at “For men criticize,” he shows that the doubt is plabsible. First [II, A] he objects on one side; next [II, B], at “But the facts etc.,” on the other side. Last [II, C], at “It is questionable then etc.,” he finishes doubting on the question. He treats the first point under two headings. First [A, 1] he introduces the fact that men criticize those who love themselves most; and it is accounted as evil that some people are self-lovers,
1857. Second [A, 2], at “The bad man” he observes that the evil person does everything for gain; and the more he follows this, the worse he is. And the more consistently he does this, the more severely people blame him as one who does nothing unrelated to himself, i.e., nothing for the good of others but only for his own. However, virtuous men do not act for themselves alone; rather they do what is honorable both for themselves and their friends. For this reason they frequently overlook their own advantages.
1858. At “But the facts” [II, B] he objects on the opposite side. He states that the facts are not in agreement with the reasons just presented, according to which men are shown to love, themselves most. And this is not in a way unlikely. First (B, 1] because, according to the general opinion, we must love best the person who is our best friend. But that man who most wishes good to another for his sake is his best friend, even if no one else might know it. Certainly these conditions exist especially in a man’s attitude towards himself, for everyone especially wishes good to himself. Evidently then a man ought to love himself most of all.
1859, Second [B, 2], at “and indeed,” he introduces in favor of this view the point he has just made (1858)He observes that all the,other conditions determining and defining the nature of friendship are found in a man’s attitude toward himself, as he noted there. The reason is that all the attributes of friendship, which are considered in reference to others, are derived from the amicable relation a person bears towards himself .
1860. Third [B, 3], at “Likewise, all,” he offers several proverbs to the same purpose. He notes that a current proverbs are in accord with this position, that a man should love himself most of all. For example, “Friends are of one mind and heart”; “Friends share alike”; “Friendship is equality”; and “Friends are akin as knee and shin” (which are very close). All these sayings show us that friendship consists in a kind of oneness that especially belongs to a man in relation to himself. Thus all the quoted proverbs are verified particularly of a person towards himself. And this because a man is his own best friend, and so a person ought to love himself most of all.
1861. Next [II, C], at “It is questionable,” he finishes doubting on the question. He remarks that there is a reasonable doubt which of these arguments we ought to accept, since both appear to have some plausibility.
1862. At “Perhaps in such” [III] he solves the doubt he has discussed. First [III, A] he determines the method of solution; then [III, B], at “People using etc.,” he gives the solution. He observes that in such discussions which marshal probable reasons for each side, we must distinguish and define to what extent and in what way each is expressing the truth. In this way, if we understand how a love of self is used in both parts of the objections, the truth we seek will appear.
1863. Then [III, B], at “People using,” he solves this doubt by making a distinction. First [B, 1] he shows how a man may be called a lover of self in the blameworthy sense; next [Lect. 9; B, 2], at “But such a man” (B.1168 b 29), in the praiseworthy sense. He considers the first point in a twofold manner. First [i, a] he explains his intention. Second [i, b], at “Obviously, it is the people etc,” he proves his statement. He says first that people, who consider “lover of self” a term of reproach, call those self-loving who assign themselves more than their share of material goods, like money, honors, and physical pleasures (of food and sex, for instance), for the majority desire goods of this nature, and men give their attention to them as though they were best.
1864, Because most people try to acquire an excessive amount of them, which everyone is unable to have, strife and contention arise over these goods. Besides, those who are more plentifully supplied with them utilize this abundance to satisfy their desires and all passions in general, and accordingly the irrational part of the soul to which the passions belong. Thus men who seek goods of this sort love themselves according to the irrational or sensitive part of their soul. Most men are such that they follow sense rather than reason. Therefore, the epithet “lover of self” has been taken from what is evil-this is appropriate to many people. Thus, philautos, i.e., lover of self in this sense can be frequently found among men, and is rightly condemned.
1865. At “Obviously, it is the people, [i, b] he proves his statement. He notes that, obviously, most people usually call philautoi or lovers of self those who amass for themselves these goods pertaining to the irrational side of man. For, if a person should wish to abound in goods of reason, i.e, virtuous actions—for example, if he wishes among other things to do especially the works of justice or temperance or any other virtue—so that he always wants to acquire honorable good for himself, no one from the crowd will call him philautos or lover of self. Or if some wise man should call him selfloving, he will not say this in censure.
A Virtuous Man’s Love of Self
(B) 2. HE SHOWS HOW A MAN MAY BE CALLED A LOVER OF SELF IN THE PRAISEWORTHY SENSE.
a. There exists a way, different from the preceding.
i. That man is self-loving who takes... the goods of reason.
x. HE PROPOSES HIS INTENTION. — 1866
But such a man rather than his vicious counterpart seems to be a lover of self,
y. HE PROVES HIS PROPOSITION.
aa. First. — 1867
for he assigns to himself the noblest and best goods.
bb. Second reason. — 1868
He yields to the leading principle in him and makes everything obey it.
z. HE PROVES WHAT HE HAD TAKEN FOR GRANTED.
aa. First. — 1869
As a state, or any other society, seems to be identical with the most dominant element in it, so too does a man. Consequently, a person who loves and yields to this part will be a lover of self in a marked degree.
bb. Second argument. — 1870
Furthermore, a person is called continent or incontinent inasmuch as this element is in control or not, which supposes that it is man himself.
cc. Third argument. — 1871
And the actions that men do according to reason seem to be their own in the most proper sense, and to be voluntary.
ii. He shows that the virtuous person is of this nature. — 1872
It is evident then that everyone is, or chiefly is, this part; that the just man loves it exceedingly. He is therefore singularly a lover of self.
iii. This manner of loving oneself digers from that previously discussed. — 1873
in a sense other than that of the man who is censured. The difference is between living according to reason and according to passion, between desiring what is good and desiring what seems advantageous.
b. To be a lover of self in this sense is praiseworthy.
i. He presents his proposition.
x. THE MAN WHO LOVES HIMSELF ACCORDING TO REASON IS WORTHY OF PRAISE. — 1874
But those who busy themselves with good works in an exceptional manner receive the approval and praise of all.
y. (HE) IS ALSO HELPFUL BOTH TO HIMSELF AND OTHERS. — 1875
And if everyone strives for what is good and aims at doing what is best, the whole community will satisfy its needs and each member will possess the best of goods, since virtue is the best good.
z. ARISTOTLE DEDUCES TWO COROLLARIES.
aa. First. — 1876
Therefore, it is reasonable for the virtuous man to love himself, because in doing good he will help both him self and others. But it is unfortunate for the bad man, because he injures both himself and his neighbors by following his passions.
bb. Second. — 1877
As a result, what the evil man ought to do is in conflict with what he does, for the reason always chooses good for itself. But the good man obeys his reason.
ii. He excludes... that for which the lover of self is blamed.
x. HE STATES HIS INTENTION. — 1878
It is true of the virtuous man that he does many actions for the sake of his friends—and country—and if necessary dies for them. He will sacrifice money, honor, and all the goods men strive for, gaining for himself an honorable good.
y. HE EXPLAINS (IT).
aa. Concerning death for his friend. — 1879-1880
For he will prefer a short period of intense delight to a long period of quiet existence, an illustrious life of a year to an ordinary life of many years, a single notable good deed to many insignificant ones. Certainly those who die for others seem to obtain this result; thus, they choose a great good for themselves.
bb. Concerning... external goods for his friend.
a’. In respect to money. — 1881
Likewise, they throw away money so that their friends may gain more. This way a friend gets the money but the virtuous man acquires an honorable good and thus assigns to himself what is better.
b’. In respect to honors and dignities. — 1882
He acts in the same manner toward honors and position. For the good man readily sacrifices all preferments for a friend, since this action seems a laudable good. It is reasonable then to consider him virtuous when he prefers what is honorable to all other goods.
cc. Concerning virtuous actions... entrusted to his friend. — 1883
He may even defer to his friend in performing actions; for it is better to be the cause of a friend’s acting than to act himself. In all praiseworthy activity, the good man assigns to him- b self the larger share of virtue.
z. HE SUMS UP. — 1884
A person then ought to be a lover of self in this sense, as we said before but not in the sense that most are lovers of self.
COMMENTARY OF ST. THOMAS
1866. After the Philosopher has shown how a man may be called a lover of self in the blameworthy sense, he now [B, 2] shows how a man may be called a lover of self in the praiseworthy sense. He discusses this point from two aspects. First [2, a] he shows that there exists a way, different from the preceding, in which someone is a lover of self. Then [2, b], at “But those who etc.,” he shows that to be a lover of self in this sense is praiseworthy.
He considers the first point under three headings. First [a, i] he shows that man is self-loving who takes for himself an abundant share of the goods of reason. Next [a, ii], at “It is evident then etc.,” he shows that the virtuous person is of this nature. Finally [a, iii], at “in a sense other than etc.,” he shows that this manner of loving oneself differs from that previously discussed. He treats the first point in a threefold fashion. First [a, i, x] he proposes his intention. He says that this man, who is anxious to excel in the works of virtue, seems to be philautos or a lover of self, rather than the man who assigns to himself an excessive amount of physical goods.
1867- Second [a, i, y], at “for he assigns,” he proves his proposition by two arguments. The first [a, i, y, aa] is that a person loves himself more, to the extent that he assigns to himself greater goods. But he, who makes it his business to excel in virtuous works, assumes for himself the goods that are noblest and best, i.e., the honorable kind. Therefore, such a one especially loves himself.
1868. He offers the second reason at “He yields” [a, i, y, bb]. A person of this type bestows good things on the principal element in him, namely, the intellect; and he induces all parts of the soul to obey the intellect. But the more someone loves an object, the more he loves what is more principal in it. It is evident then that the man who wishes to be eminent in good works loves himself in a high degree.
1869. Third [a, i, z], at “As a state,” he proves what he had taken for granted: that the person who loves the most dominant element in him, the intellect or reason, particularly loves himself. He proves this by three arguments. The first [a, i, z, aa] is: in the state it is the most authoritative part that especially seems to be the state. Hence what the rulers of a state do is said to be done by the whole state; and the same reason holds for any other composite of several parts. Consequently, in man it is his reason or intellect, his principal element, that especially seems to be man. Therefore, he who loves his intellect or reason, and treats it well seems to be philautos or a lover of self most of all.
1870. He presents the second argument [a, i, z, bb] at “Furthermore.” Someone is said to be continent because he controls himself and incontinent because he does not. It is to the extent that a man observes reason by following its judgment, rather than repudiates reason on account of incontinence that he is this element, i.e., his intellect. So it seems that such a man truly loves himself who loves his intellect.
1871. He states the third argument [a, i, z, cc] at “And the actions.” He observes that men’s reasoned actions seem to be theirs in the most proper sense and to be done voluntarily. What a man does because of concupiscence or anger he does not seem to do by his own will but under the direction of an external impulse. It is evident then that man is in a particular fashion what conforms to his intellect and reason. Hence he especially loves himself when he loves his intellect and reason.
1872. Next [a, ii], at “It is evident then,” he shows who is properly a lover of self in this sense. He remarks that it is obvious from the discussion (1869, 1870, 1870 that everyone is his intellect or reason, or rather (since several other ingredients concur in the essence of man) it can be said that man is especially this part, i.e., intellect or reason because it is the formal and perfective element of the human species. Obviously, the virtuous person loves his intellect or reason exceedingly, because he perfectly preserves and universally obeys it. Hence it is clear that the virtuous person is philautos or a lover of self.
1873. Then [a, iii], at “in a sense other than” he explains that this manner of loving oneself differs in kind from that previously discussed. He notes that the virtuous person is a lover of self according to a kind of self-love that differs from the brand censured before (1863-1865). He gives two differences: one, on the part of the activity, for the good man loves himself inasmuch as he lives according to reason. For the man who is blamed lives according to passion, following the irrational desires of his soul, as has been pointed out (1864). The other difference exists on the part of the motive. For the good man loves himself inasmuch as he seeks for himself what is the absolute good. But the man who is blamed loves himself inasmuch as he seeks what seems a useful good but is really harmful.
1874. At “But those who” [2, b] he shows that to love oneself in the second way is praiseworthy. First [b, i] he presents his proposition. Then [b, ii], at “It is true etc.,” he excludes from the person who loves himself in the second way that for which the lover of self is blamed. He discusses the first point under three headings. First [b, i, x] he shows that the man who loves himself according to reason is worthy of praise. For this man is anxious to excel in good works, as we have indicated (1867). But it is evident that everyone approves and praises those who busy themselves with virtuous activity in a manner different from other men, i.e., in a more extensive manner. It is obvious, therefore, that the person who loves himself according to virtue is to be praised.
1875. Second [b, i, y], at “And if everyone,” Aristotle shows that this person is also helpful both to himself and others. We just said that he who loves himself according to virtue is eager to perform exceptionally good actions. But if all strove for what is good so that everyone aimed to excel his neighbor in virtue by doing his best the whole community would have its needs satisfied. The reason is that one would come to the assistance of another and the goods that are best, viz., virtues, would become the property of each.
1876. Third [b, i, z], at “Therefore, it is reasonable,” Aristotle deduces two corollaries from the discussion. The first [b, i, z, aa] is that it is best for the good man to love himself because in doing good he helps both himself and others. But it is unfortunate that the bad man loves himself because in following his evil desires he will injure both himself and his neighbors by depriving himself of virtue and them of physical goods.
1877. He states the second corollary at “As a result” [b, i, z, bb], noting that what the evil man does is opposed to what he ought to do; he is acting against his intellect or reason. Rut the intellect always chooses what is best for itself. Thus the bad man does not do what he should do. On the other hand it is characteristic of the virtuous man to obey his reason always.
1878. Then [b, ii], at “It is true,” he excludes from the person who loves himself according to virtue the complaint previously lodged (1855-1865) against a lover of self, that he does nothing for anyone else. He treats this point in a threefold manner. First [ii, x] he states his intention. Next [ii, y], at “For he will prefer etc.,” he explains his intention. Finally [ii, z], at “A person then ought etc.,” he sums up the truth of the question in an epilogue. He notes first the truth of the statement about the good man, that he, far beyond all othex men, will do many acts for the sake of his friends and country. Even if it is necessary to die for a friend he will not forsake him. He will, as it were, cast aside and disdain wealth, honor, and all other external goods for which men strive, for the sake of a friend; by means of all this he procures for himself an honorable good that is more excellent. Hence even in this way he shows more love for himself and procures his greater good.
1879. Next [ii, y], at “For he will he explains his statement. First [ii, y, aa], concerning death that a good man will undergo for his friend. Then [ii, y, bb], at “Likewise, they throw away etc.,” concerning the fact that he contemns external goods for his friend. Finally [ii, y, cc], at “He may even etc.,” concerning virtuous actions which a good man sometimes entrusts to his friends. He remarks first that the good man dying for his friend procures good for himself, because he chooses to delight for a short time in a brilliant work of virtue rather than for a long time in a quiet existence, i.e., indifferently in mediocre works of virtue.
1880. He prefers an illustrious life of a year to an ordinary life of many years. Similarly, he prefers a single notable good deed to many insignificant ones. Although those who die for virtue may live more briefly, nevertheless by endangering themselves for a friend they do a greater good in this one action than in many other actions. Thus, in acting virtuously by exposing their lives for a friend they choose a great good for themselves. From this it is clear that they love themselves very much.
1881. At “Likewise, they throw away” [ii, y, bb] he explains this point concerning contempt for external goods. First [bb, a’] in respect to money. He says that virtuous people throw away, i.e., despise or disperse, money for the sake of friends so that their friends gain more with the money. This way also they really love themselves more; for when a person gives money to a friend and acquires an honorable good for himself, obviously he assigns the greater good to himself, and under these circumstances loves himself more.
1882. Second [bb, b’], at “He acts,” he explains the same point in respect to honors and dignities, noting that the good man behaves in the same way towards honors and position. For he readily gives up all these preferments for a friend, since this very action is a virtuous and laudable work. Clearly then the virtuous person acts in a reasonable manner when he chooses the great good of virtue instead of all external goods; and so he loves himself most.
1883. Then [ii, y, cc], at “He may even,” he shows the same point about virtuous actions themselves. He observes that the virtuous man sometimes even defers to his friend in doing good actions. For instance, if a virtuous work is to be done by him or another person, he lets his friend do it to derive profit and praise in this way. However, even here the virtuous person takes what is better for himself; for it is better and more virtuous to cause his friend to do these actions than to do them himself. This is particularly true when the opportunity remains for him to do the same or greater deeds at another time. Thus it is evident that the good man assigns to himself the larger share of virtue in praiseworthy activity, and so has much love for himself.
1884. He concludes by way of summary [ii, z] that a person ought to be a lover of self as we said the good man is, but not as most men, who are not virtuous, are lovers of themselves.
A Doubt on a Happy Man’s Need of Friends
I. HE PROPOSES THE DOUBT. — 1885
Some doubt whether or not a happy man needs friends.
II. HE SHOWS THAT THE DOUBT IS REASONABLE.
A. He objects for the negative.
1. BY AN ARGUMENT. — 1886
It is said that because happy people are self-sufficient they do not need friends; since they have all good things, being self-sufficing, they need nothing else. Now a friend is looked upon as another self who provides what a man himself cannot.
2. A PROVERB IN FAVOR OF THE SAME VIEW. — 1887
Hence the saying: “If fortune favors us, what need of friends?”
B. (He objects) for the affirmative.
1. (HE OFFERS THE FIRST ARGUMENT.) — 1888
There seems to be an inconsistency in attributing to a happy man all goods but not friends since a friend seems to be the greatest of external goods.
2. HE TREATS THE SECOND ARGUMENT.
a. He presents (it). — 1889
If it is more characteristic of a friend to give than to receive a benefit, more proper to virtue and a virtuous man to do good for others, and better to be kind to friends than strangers, then the virtuous person will need friends whom he can benefit.
b. He deduces a doubt from the premises. — 1890
This is why the related question arises: does a man need friends more in prosperity or in adversity? Undoubtedly, the unfortunate man needs them to help him, and the fortunate man needs friends he can help.
3. HE PRESENTS THE THIRD ARGUMENT. — 1891
It seems strange indeed to make the happy man a solitary. For no one would choose to have the whole world if he had to live alone, since man is naturally a social animal and fitted by nature to live with others. Therefore, the happy man lives in this way because he has what is naturally good. But obviously it is better to live with friends and virtuous men than with strangers and chance acquaintances. Therefore the happy man needs friends.
III. HE SOLVES (THE DOUBT).
A. He shows how those who deny that a happy man needs friends may be saying what is true. — 1892-1893
What then are the followers of the first opinion holding, and to what extent is their opinion true? Do they, like the majority, look upon friends as useful people? Certainly the happy man will not need such friends for he has useful goods already; nor will he need those whom one chooses for their pleasantness, except to a slight extent. Indeed the happy man does not require pleasure from the outside, for his life is pleasant in itself. Since then he does not stand in need of friends of this sort, he seems not to need friends at all.
B. How they may be saying what is false.
1. HE PROVES THIS BY MORAL ARGUMENTS.
a. It is not true that... (he) does not need friends... — 1894-1896
Certainly this is not true. For we said in the beginning that happiness is an activity; and activity obviously is a coming into being and is not like something in one’s possession. But happiness consists in living and doing, and the activity of the good man is virtuous and pleasurable in itself, as we noted earlier; of all pleasures, happiness is proper to a virtuous man. Now we can study our neighbors better than ourselves and their actions better than our own. Evidently then virtuous persons find pleasure in the actions of friends who are good men, since they have both qualities that are naturally pleasurable. The happy man, therefore, will need such friends inasmuch as he wants to study actions that are good and his own, and the actions of the virtuous man who is his friend are of this nature.
b. He presents the second argument. — 1897-1898
Besides, people think that a happy man should live pleasantly. Now the man who lives alone does have a hard life, since it is not easy to keep up a continuous activity by oneself. But with others and in relation to others it is less difficult. Therefore, his activity will be more continuous and delightful in itself, as it ought to be for the happy man. Indeed the good man, as such, rejoices in virtuous actions but is distressed by those which arise from wickedness; he is like a musician pleased by good music but irritated by bad.
c. He presents the third argument. — 1899
Then too a companionship in virtue results from living with good men, as Theognis remarks.
COMMENTARY OF ST. THOMAS
1885. After the Philosopher has investigated and solved the question that was raised about a person loving himself, he now solves the question that was raised of a person loving another. First [I] he proposes the doubt. Then [II], at “it is said etc.,” he shows that the doubt is reasonable. Finally [III], at “What then are etc.,” he solves it. He notes first that there is a doubt whether or not the happy man needs friends.
1886. Then [II], at “It is said,” he shows that the doubt is reasonable by raising difficulties for both sides. First [II, A] he objects for the negative; next [II, B], at “There seems to etc.,” for the affirmative. He objects in a twofold manner for the initial position. First [A, 1] by an argument. Some say that happy people are self-sufficing and do not need friends; they have all good things, and so, being complete in themselves, they seem to need nothing else. But a friend, inasmuch as he is another self, seems to be necessary to provide what a man cannot obtain by himself. So, apparently, a happy person does not need friends.
1887. Second [A, 2], at “Hence the saying,” he offers a pagan proverb in favor of the same view: “When the spirit is benign there is no need of friends.” The pagans, especially the Platonists, believed the order of providence was such that human affairs were governed by divine dispensation through intermediary spirits. Some of the spirits, they held, were favorable; others malevolent. Therefore, the proverb says that when a man enjoys the favor of divine providence, as happy people seem to do, he has no need of friends.
1888. At “There seems to be” [II, B] be objects for the opposite side by three arguments. (He offers the first [II, B, 1].) It seems unreasonable to assign all external goods to a happy man, and not assign hirn friends, since a friend is the greatest of external goods.
1889. He treats the second argument at “If it is more characteristic” [II, B, 2], handling it in a twofold manner, First [2, a] he presents the argument. We have pointed out already that it is more characteristic of a friend to give than to receive a benefit. But it is proper to virtue to impart benefits; and happiness consists in virtuous action, as indicated in the first book (127-128). Ile happy man then is necessarily virtuous and beneficent, But it is better
for a man to be good to friends than strangers, other things being equal, because he does this with more pleasure and alacrity. Consequently, since a happy person is virtuous he needs friends whom he can benefit.
1890. Second [2, b], at “This is why,” he deduces a doubt from the premises: whether a man has need of friends more in adversity than in prosperity. He seems to need friends in both circumstances, for the unfortunate man needs friends to help him, and the fortunate man needs friends he can help. But this doubt will be pursued later (1925-1943).
1891. He presents the third argument at “It seems strange indeed” [II, B, 3], saying that it appears unreasonable for the happy man to be a solitary; for this is contrary to everyone’s choice. No one would choose to live alone all the time, even after he had all other goods, because man is naturally a social animal and fitted by nature to live with others. Since, therefore, the happy person has what is naturally good for man, he should have people to live with. Obviously it is better for him to live with friends and virtuous men than strangers and others. Thus, it is clear that the happy man needs friends.
1892. Next [III], at “What then arc,” he solves the preceding doubt. First [III, A] he shows how those, who deny that a happy man needs friends, may be saying what is true; then [III, B], at “Certainly this is not etc.,” how they may be saying what is false. He says first that since we have just proved that the happy man does need friends we must consider what the followers of the first opinion are holding, when they deny the happy man’s need of friends, and to what extent their opinion may be true.
1893. On this question we should note that most men consider as friends those useful to them in the bestowal of external goods—and these alone are appreciated by the common run of men. Therefore, the happy man does not need friends like this, for the goods he has are enough. Likewise, he does not need friends for pleasantness, except in that minor way-that we need jests for relaxation. Cf. the fourth book (844-845), Indeed, the happy man does not require external pleasure for which such friends are absolutely necessary, for his life is pleasant in itself, as we have indicated in the first book (145)Since then he does not stand in need of these useful and pleasant friends, it seems that he has no need of friends.
1894. Then [III, B], at “Certainly this is not,” he shows that their statement is not entirely true. First [III, B, 1] he proves this by moral arguments; next [Lect. 11; III, B, 2], at “Looking more profoundly etc.” (B.1170 a 13), by a more intrinsic reason. He offers three reasons for the initial point. First [1, a] it is not true that, if the happy man does not need useful and pleasant friends, he does not therefore need any friends at all, as affirmed previously (1892-1893). For there are virtuous friends whom he does need. The primary reason for this is that happiness is an operation (144, 145, 180, 1267).
1895. It is evident that operation consists in doing; it is not an entity existing in the manner of permanent things, as if it were a possession that, once obtained, a man would be happy without the necessity of doing anything. But happiness consists in continual living and doing. Now the operation of the virtuous man must be good and pleasurable in itself because it is essentially good, as indicated in the first book (156). But among pleasures good operation is the pleasure proper to the virtuous man, for the person who would not delight in virtuous operation would not be virtuous, as we stated in the first book (158).
1896. We can have pleasure only in what we know. But we can examine our neighbors better than ourselves and their actions better than our own be cause every man is a bad judge of his own case on account of the private affection he has for himself. Evidently then virtuous persons find pleasure in the actions of those who are both virtuous men and friends of theirs; in them are found both qualities pleasurable by nature, namely, the good and the lovable. In this way, therefore, the happy man will need these virtuous friends inasmuch as he seeks to study the virtuous actions of the good man who is his friend. Since a man’s friend is another self, so to speak, the friend’s actions will be his own in a sense.
1897. He presents the second argument at “Besides, people think” [1, b]. it is generally thought, he says, that the happy man should live pleasantly; for pleasure is one of the conditions for happiness-we have noted this in the first book (158). But he who lives by himself experiences a hard and burdensome life; pleasure that he enjoys following upon activity must be interrupted, for it is not easy for a man to be continuously active by himself, i.e., when living alone. But it is easy if he lives with another, since a kind of interchange of activities takes place while they perform good actions for one another. In this way pleasure is continued.
1898. If then a man lives with friends, his virtuous activity delightful in itself will be more continuous. And this ought to be true for the happy man so that he may have uninterrupted pleasure in works of virtue. For the good man as such rejoices in virtuous actions performed either by himself or others. Moreover, he is grieved by contrary actions arising from another’s wickedness, like a musician who is pleased by good music but irritated by bad.
1899. He presents the third argument at “Then too” [1, c]. Here he observes that because the virtuous person lives on friendly terms with good men there results ascesis or a companionship in virtue, as the poet Theognis has remarked. Such an association is advantageous for anyone disposed to virtue, just as other human activities also are more satisfactorily accomplished in partnership.
Why a Happy Man Needs Friends
(III, B) 2. HE SHOWS (THAT THE HAPPY MAN NEEDS FRIENDS) BY A MORE FUNDAMENTAL REASON.
a. It is desirable for a happy man to have a friend.
i. He proposes his intention. — 1900
Looking more profoundly into the matter it seems that a virtuous friend is naturally desirable to a virtuous man.
ii. He proves his proposition.
x. WHAT IS NATURALLY DESIRABLE... TO THE VIRTUOUS PERSON.
aa. Existence and life are naturally... desirable.
a’ He offers this reason. — 1901
For, as has been noted, what is naturally good is in itself good and desirable to the virtuous person.
b’ He states the minor.
a. THE NATURE OF LIFE. — 1902
Now life in animals is defined by capacity for perception, in men by capacity for perception and thought. But capacity is reduced to operation, and what is principal consists in operation. Life, therefore, seems to be principally an act of perception or thought.
b. LIFE IS NATURALLY GOOD AND PLEASANT. — 1903-1905
Likewise, life is numbered among the things that are good and pleasant in themselves; for it is a determinate entity, and what is determinate pertains to the nature of the good. Now what is good naturally is good to the virtuous person. This is the reason why life seems delightful to all men.
c. HE REMOVES A DOUBT. — 1906
However, we must not argue from an evil and corrupt life, or one passed in pain, because such life is indeterminate as are the attributes connected with it. This will be made clearer in the following discussion on pain.
d. HE DEDUCES A CONCLUSION. — 1907
If life itself is good and pleasant (and this is apparent from the fact that all men desire it) then it will be especially so to virtuous and happy people. For life is most desirable to such men and their existence happy in the highest degree.
bb. It is delightful and desirable to feel (that existence and life are desirable). — 1908
When a man sees, he is aware that he is seeing; when he hears, he is aware that he hears; when he walks, he is aware that he walks. Similarly in all other activities there is a faculty in us that is aware that we are active; we perceive that we perceive, we understand that we understand, and in this we perceive and understand that we exist. For existence was defined as perception or thought. But perceiving that one is alive is numbered among the b goods that are delightful in themselves because life is by its nature a good, and to perceive the good existing in oneself is pleasurable. Now life is desirable especially for the virtuous because for them it is good and pleasant at the same time; and when they perceive what is good in itself they rejoice.
y. WHAT IS DESIRABLE RESPECTING HIS FRIEND. — 1909-1911
But the good man feels toward his friend as toward himself, since his friend is another self. Therefore, just as his own existence is desirable to everyone, so, or nearly so, is his friend’s existence. Now a virtuous person’s existence is desirable because he perceives that it is good, and the perception is desirable in itself. Consequently, he ought to be conscious of his friend’s existence too; this takes place in associating with one another and sharing conversation and thoughts. In this way we understand living together as applied to men; we do not understand it in the sense of feeding together as applied to cattle. If then a happy man’s existence is desirable in itself, inasmuch as it is naturally good and pleasant, and his friend’s existence is much the same, then a friend will be one of the desirable goods.
b. He concludes... that the happy man needs friends. — 1912
But what is desirable for the happy man he must have, or else he will be in want. To be happy, therefore, a man needs virtuous friends.
COMMENTARY OF ST. THOMAS
1900. After the Philosopher has given the moral reasons indicating that the happy man needs friends, he now [III, B, 2] shows the same point by a more fundamental reason. First [2, a] he shows that it is desirable for a happy man to have a friend. Then [2, b], at “But what is etc., he concludes in addition that the happy man needs friends. He treats the first point from two aspects. First [a, i] he proposes his intention. He observes that if someone wishes to judge by a more fundamental reason it will be very evident that for a good and happy man a virtuous friend is naturally even more desirable than other external goods.
1901. Second [a, ii], at “For, as has been noted etc.,” he proves his proposition. First [ii, x] he shows what is naturally desirable and pleasant to the virtuous person respecting himself. Then [ii, y], at “But the good man etc.,” he shows what is desirable and pleasant respecting his friend. He discusses the first point under two headings. First [x, aa] he shows that existence and life are naturally desirable to the good man. Next [x, bb], at “When a man sees etc.,” he shows that it is delightful and desirable to feel this. For the first statement he offers this reason [aa, a]. Whatever is naturally good is in itself good and desirable to the good man, as is clear from the discussion in the seventh book (1533). But existence and life are naturally good and desirable to living creatures. Therefore, existence and life are good and desirable to the virtuous person.
1902. The major is self-evident in the text. He states the minor at “Now life etc.” [aa, b’], and makes three observations on it. First [b’, a] he shows the nature of life, remarking that in all animals life is defined in general by the capacity for sensation. But in man it is defined by the capacity for perception relative to what he has in common with other animals or by capacity for thought relative to what he has proper to himself. Now every capacity is reduced to operation as to its proper perfection. Consequently, what is principal is operation and not mere capacity, for act is more excellent than potency, as is proved in the ninth book of the Metaphysics (Ch. 8, 1049 b 4-1050 b 6; St. Th. Lect. 7-8, 1844-1866). From this it is evident that for animal or man life in the full sense is an act of sensation or thought. Indeed a slumbering individual—since he does not actually feel or think—does not live completely but has a half a life, as was stated in the first book (234-235).
1903. Second [b’, b], at “Likewise, life,” he shows that life is naturally good and pleasant. He notes that life itself is numbered among the things which are good and pleasant in themselves. He proves this from the fact that life is something determinate; and what is determinate pertains to the nature of the good.
1904. To understand this we should hear in mind that potentiality, considered in itself, is indeterminate because it can be many things; but it becomes determinate by means of act, as is obvious with matter and form. Potentiality, however, without act is potentiality with privation which constitutes the nature of evil; just as perfection achieved by activity constitutes the nature of good. For that reason, as a thing is evil to the extent that it is indeterminate, so it is good to the extent that it is determinate.
1905. But life is something determinate especially as it principally consists in an operation, as we just pointed out (11902). So it is evident that life is naturally good. Now what is naturally good is also good to the virtuous person, since the good man is the norm in human kind, as we have indicated (1898). Consequently, since life is naturally good, we see that it is pleasant to all men.
1906. Third [b’, c], at “However, we,” he removes a doubt. He points out that in stating life is naturally good and pleasant (1901, 1903-1905) we must not include evil, i.e., vicious and corrupt, life that departs from the right order, nor life lived in pain. Such life is not naturally good because it is indeterminate, i.e., lacking in proper perfection, just as the attributes connected with it are indeterminate. Everything is made determinate by what exists in it; hence, if this is indeterminate, then the thing itself will be indeterminate. For example, if sickness is indeterminate, the sick body will be indeterminate and ill, as also will be moral evil and corruption or pain. This will be made clearer in the pertinent questions following, where pain will be discussed (2048-2049).
1907. Then [b’, d], at “If life,” he deduces a conclusion from this argument. He remarks that if life itself is naturally good and pleasant (this is apparent not only from the foregoing argument but also because all men desire it) then life will be good and pleasing to virtuous and happy people most of all. Since their existence is fullest and happiest, it must be most desirable to them.
1908. Next [x, bb], at “When a man,” he shows that perception of being alive is desirable and pleasant to the virtuous person. For a man who knows that he sees is conscious of his seeing, and the same is true with someone who knows that he hears. Likewise in other cases a person is conscious that he is active. In this reflective act in which we perceive that we perceive and understand that we understand, we perceive and understand that we exist. We have said before (1902) that man’s existence and life are in the fullest sense perception or thought. But that someone should be conscious he is alive is numbered among the goods which are delightful in themselves, because life is by its nature good, as we have already proved (1903-1905); and the consciousness that he possesses good is delightful. Since life is desirable especially to the virtuous for whom existence is good and plasurable, evidently then the realization that they perceive and understand is delightful to them. The reason is that simultaneously in the very act (by whichthey are aware that they perceive and understand) they recognize what is good in itself, viz., existence and life; and they are delighted by this.
1909. At “But the good man” [ii, y] he shows from the premises what is desirable and pleasant to the virtuous and happy person with regard to his friend. He observes that the good man feels for his friend as if he were himself, since his friend is in a way another self. Therefore, just as his own existence is desirable and delightful to existence desirable and delightful to him—if not equally, at least very nearly so. For the natural unity a man has with himself is greater than the unity of affection he has with his friend. We have just noted (1907, 1908) that the good man’s existence and life are desirable to him because he perceives that they are good. But this perception, by which someone perceives good existing in him, is delightful in itself. Consequently, as a person rejoices in the perception of his own existence and life’ so it is simply necessary for him to perceive them in his friend in order to rejoice in him.
1910. This takes place through constant association and the exchange of ideas and reflection. In this way men are said to dwell with one another in an appropriate manner, not as cattle feeding together, but as human beings living a life that is proper to them.
1911. Thus he concludes from the premises what he had set out to do. He declares that a happy man’s own existence is desirable in itself inasmuch as it is naturally good and pleasant; since the existence and life of a friend are close to the life of a virtuous and happy man by affection, the friend too will be desirable to him.
1912. Then [2, b], at “But what is,” he shows in addition that friends are necessary for the happy man. What is desirable for the happy man he must have, or else a deficiency will remain; and this is contrary to the notion of happiness which calls for a sufficiency. Therefore it is necesary that the man, who is in a state of happiness, should have virtuous friends. Here he is discussing the kind of happiness that is possible in this life, as we have indicated in the first book (113).
Limitation of the Number of Friends
I. THE FIRST (DOUBT) CONCERNS THE NUMBER OF FRIENDS.
A. He proposes the doubt. — 1913
Should a man then make as many friends as possible? or, just as it has been wisely said about traveling: “May I be called neither a great traveler nor a homebody,” perhaps it will be fitting in friendship that a man should be neither without friends nor with an excessive number.
B. He solves (it).
1. AS IT CONCERNS USEFUL FRIENDSHIP. — 1914-1915
This statement seems to be quite applicable to those who make friends for utility. For it is burdensome to repay the services of many people and a man’s life is not long enough for the task. Therefore, more friends than are sufficient for our own life distract and prevent us from noble living, and there is no need for them.
2. A FEW FRIENDS ARE ENOUGH FOR PLEASANTNESS. — 1916
Likewise, a few friends for pleasantness are enough, as a little seasoning is enough in food.
3. HE SOLVES A QUESTION REGARDING VIRTUOUS FRIENDS.
a. He proves his proposition by a reason.
i. He repeats the question. — 1917
But a question arises concerning virtuous friends, whether we should have as many as possible, or is there a limit to the number of one’s friends as thcrc is to the population of a city? Ten men do not make a city and with one hundred thousand men it is no longer a city. Perhaps, the exact size is not a particular number, it might well be any mean between definite limits.
ii. He solves the question... by three arguments.
x. FIRST. — 1918
The number of one’s friends too should be limited; they may be as numerous as the people with whom a man can associate and divide himself, for this attribute seems to belong in a special way to friendship. That one cannot live and share himself with great numbers is all too evident.
y. SECOND. — 1919
Besides, one’s friends must be friends of one another, if they are all to spend their time together. But with a large number this is hard to achieve.
z. THIRD. — 1920
It is difficult also to share intimately in the joys and sorrows of a great number of people. Indeed a man may very likely be called upon to rejoice with one and grieve with another at the same time.
iii. He concludes what he proposed for discussion. — 1921
together. It does not seem possible to have a great many friends for the reason that one cannot love several persons. Indeed love is a kind of excess of friendship, and this is possible with one person only, or with a very few.
b. (He proves his proposition) from experience. — 1922-1923
Perhaps then it is not well to seek as many friends as possible but 10 as many as are sufficient for living We see that this is so in practice, for people do not have many friendships of the comradely type-comrades are said to sing in pairs. Those who have a host of friends and are on familiar terms with everybody seem to be real friends of no one; they are, though, friends in the way proper to fellow citizens, and are generally called obsequious.
C. He shows the kind of friendship people have who are said to be friends with many. — 1924
One may have friendship with many as fellow citizens and not be obsequious but really virtuous. But it is not possible to be friends to a large number for their own and for virtue’s sakes. A man should be satisfied to find a few such friends.
COMMENTARY OF ST. THOMAS
1913. After the Philosopher has discussed doubts concerning friendship on the part of those who love, he now discusses doubts on the part of those who are loved. He states three doubts concerning the initial point. The first [I] concerns the number of friends; the second doubt [Lect. 13; II], at “Are friends more etc.,” concerns the need of friends (B. 1171 a 21); the third [Lect. 14; III], at “May we say then etc.,” concerns the companionship of friends (B. 1171 b 29). He treats the first point in a twofold manner. First [I, A] he proposes the doubt, whether or not a man ought to make as many friends as possible. A sound point seems to have been made about traveling in someone’s proverb: “May I be called neither a gadabout nor a stay-at-home,” that is, let it not be said of me that I wander aimlessly through many countries nor that I never leave home for the purpose of traveling. The same is appropriately applied to friendship, thus that a man should be neither without friends nor with an excessive number.
1914. Second [I, B], at “This statement,” he solves the question. First [B, 1] as it concerns useful friendship. He remarks that the statement about avoiding a superfluous number of friendships seems to be quite applicable to those who are friends for convenience or utility, because if a rnan has many such friends from whom he receives favors, conversely he must bestow many favors. This is excessively burdensome so that those who wish to act in such a way do not have enough time.
1915. Therefore, if a man’s useful friends are more numerous than necessary for his own life, they distract and hinder him from the blessings of a life which consists in virtuous activity. The reason is that while a person gives extra attention to the business of others, he cannot properly care for himself. Evidently then a man has no need of many useful friends.
1916. Second [B, 2], at “Likewise, a few,” he observes that a few friends are enough also for pleasantness. External pleasantness which is provided by friends of this kind is sought in human living, like seasoning in food which suffices even when very little is used. Hence even a few pleasant friends are sufficient for a man that he may relax with them for a short time.
1917. Third [B, 3], at “But a question,” he solves a question regarding virtuous friends. First [3, a] he proves his proposition by a reason; then [3, b], at “We see etc.,” from experience. He discusses the first point in a threefold manner. First [a, i] he repeats the question. He says that it remains to be considered whether someone ought to make as many virtuous friends as possible so that the more he has the better he is. Or should he set some limit to the number of friends, as is evident concerning the number in a city, which is not composed of only ten men, neither on the other hand is it composed of ten myriads (a myriad equals ten thousand), for such a number of citizens forms not a city but a country. But how great a multitude is required for a city has not been determined according to a particular number, because a city can be large or small. However, there can be two extremes, and whatever is a mean between these can be determined as a suitable population for a city.
1918. Second [a, ii], at “The number of,” he solves the question, saying there should not be an immense number of friends but the number ought to be limited. He proves this by three arguments. The first [ii, x] is that friends can be as numerous as the people with whom a man can closely associate, for this attribute seems to belong to friendship more than others, i.e., seems suitable to virtuous friendship. Obviously it is not possible for a person to associate with a vast multitude and share himself among many people. Clearly then one cannot have a great number of virtuous friends.
1919. He offers the second argument at “Besides, one’s friends” [ii, y]. It is evident that friends ought toolive with one another. So, if a man has many friends, it is likewise necessary that all these should be mutual friends. Otherwise they cannot pass their time in each other’s company, nor consequently live on friendly terms. But it is difficult to arrange this among a great many so that they may be friends of one another. Thus it is apparently impossible for one man to have a multitude of friends.
1920. He presents the third argument at “It is difficult also” [ii, z]. We said above (1894-1898) that a friend rejoices with a friend. But it is difficult for anyone to share intimately in the joys and sorrows of a great number of people. It may very likely happen that a person must at the same time rejoice with one and grieve with another, which is impossible. Therefore, it is out of the question for a man to have a vast number of friends.
1920. Third [a, iii], at “Perhaps then,” he concludes what he proposed for discussion, that it is well for a man not to seek as many friends as possible but as many as are enough for living together, because it does not seem possible for a man to be very friendly to great numbers. So, likewise, one man cannot love many women by an intense sexual love because perfect friendship consists in a kind of excess of love which can be felt for only one or a very few persons. For what is superlative always belongs to the few, since achievement of the highest perfection cannot take place in most cases due to a multiplicity of defects and hindrances.
1922. Then [3, b], at “We see,” he proves his proposition from experience. We see in practice that a person has friendship for a few, for one does not have many friends according to the friendship of comrades, i.e., companions or partners. This is shown by a proverb according to which comrades are said to sing in pairs.
1923. It is a widespread custom for young people to stroll two by two singing in good fellowship. But polyphiloi, i.e., those who have a host of friends or are on familiar terms with everybody seem to be real friends of no one, for they do not associate long with any particular person but are friendly with everyone in passing. However, such persons are said to be friends in a civil way as is usual among citizens who judge friendship according to compliments and familiarities of this sort. Those who are friendly with a great number of people in this fashion are generally called obsequious, which means an excess of external pleasantness, as was explained in the fourth book (816, 828).
1924. Finally [I, C], at “One may,” he shows the kind of friendship people have who are said to be friends with many. He observes that this is possible according to political friendship not only in the sense that an obsequious person is a friend of many but also in the sense proper to a virtuous person. It has been indicated above (1836) that friendship between citizens seems to be identified with concord. But the good man is of one mind with many in affairs pertaining to civic life. However, it is not possible for a virtuous man to have friendship for a great number so that he loves them for themselves and not only for utility or pleasure. But rather it ought to be pleasing and dear to a man if he can have a few such friends for the sake of virtue and themselves.
Friends Needed in Both Prosperity and Adversity
II. HE PROPOSES A DOUBT ABOUT THE NEED FOR FRIENDS.
A. He presents the doubt. — 1925
Are friends more necessary in good fortune or bad? They are sought in both situations; for the unfortunate need help, and the fortunate need friends to live with and benefit, since they want to do good to others.
B. He solves it. — 1926
Friendship then is more necessary in adversity because we need useful friends to help us. But it is more honorable in prosperity; hence we seek virtuous friends, as it is preferable to benefit and live with men of this character.
C. He proves an assumption.
1. HE PROPOSES HIS INTENTION. — 1927
Indeed, the very presence of friends is pleasant in both good and bad fortune;
2. HE PROVES HIS PROPOSITION.
a. As it concerns adversity.
i. He explains his proposition. — 1928
and sorrow is assuaged by the presence of sympathetic friends.
ii. The reason for this observation. — 1929-1932
Therefore, someone may question whether friends actually assume the burden of grief as it were, or—this not being the case—the pain is diminished by their comforting presence and the consciousness of their syrn pathy. Whether sorrows are alleviated for these or some other reasons need not be discussed; at any rate what we have described seems to take place.
iii. The presence of a sympathetic friend has... sorrow.
x. HE EXPLAINS HIS PROPOSITION. — 1933
But the presence of sympathetic friends seem to have a mixed effect. The very sight of them is a comfort, especially when we are in distress, and a help in assuaging sorrow; for a friend, if he is sympathetic, is a consolation both by his countenance and his words, as he knows our feelings and what grieves and comforts us. On the other hand, it is painful to be aware that misfortunes cause the friend sorrow, since everyone avoids causing pain to his friends.
y. HE DEDUCES A COROLLARY. — 1934-1935
Hence persons of a manly bent naturally fear lest their friends be saddened on their account. And, unless a man is excessively insensitive to pain, he can hardly bear the sorrow that his sorrow causes his friends; nor is he willing to have others weep with him, for he is not given to lamenting. However, men of a womanish disposition are pleased to have fellow-mourners, and love as friends those who sympathize with them. But in all things we ought to imitate the man of noble character.
b. As it concerns prosperity. — 1936
However, in prosperity the presence of friends provides both pleasant conversation and the consciousness that our friends are pleased with our benefactions.
c. He deduces a corollary (which contains some moral doctrines).
i. In reference to those who call their friends together. — 1937-1939
For this reason a man ought to press his friends to share his good fortune (for a noble man should be generous) but be reluctant to ask them to share his misfortune (for he should impart to them as little as possible of his troubles). Hence the saying: “No more than I need burdened be.” A man should ask his friends especially when they can furnish him great assistance with little inconvenience to themselves.
ii. Who of their own accord approach their friends. — 1940-1943
Conversely, a man even uninvited should go promptly to friends in distress. For it is the part of a friend to be of service especially to those who are in need and do not think it becoming to ask. This is more honorable and pleasing to both. On the other hand, a man should readily join with his friends in prosperity, for even here friends are necessary. But he ought to approach them tardily to receive their kindness, for it is not becoming to show eagerness in accepting the help of friends. However, he should at all costs beware of a reputation for repudiating their advances-a thing that happens at times. Consequently, the presence of friends seems desirable in all circumstances.
COMMENTARY OF ST. THOMAS
1925. Now that the Philosopher has solved the doubt on the number of friends, he here [II] proposes a doubt about the need for friends. He,discusses this point under three headings. First [II, A] he presents the doubt. Then [II, B], at “Friendship then etc.,” he solves it. Finally [II, C], at “Indeed, the very presence etc.,” he proves an assumption. He says first it can be questioned whether a man needs friends more in prosperity or adversity, for obviously friends are necessary in both situations. In adversity a man needs friends to help him overcome misfortunes. But in prosperity men need friends to live with and to benefit, for they want to do good to others.
1926. Then [II, B], at “Friendship then,” he offers the solution to the question. He concludes from the premises that friends are necessary for a man in those reverses where he needs the help which friends supply, as was just noted (1925). Consequently, in this condition a man needs useful friends to help him. But in prosperity it is better and more honorable to have friends. So in these circumstances men seek virtuous friends, because it is more desirable to benefit and associate with persons of this character.
1927. At “Indeed, the very presence” [II, C] he proves an assumption, viz., that friends are needed in both circumstances. First [C, 1] he proposes his intention, saying that the very presence of friends is pleasant in both good and bad fortune.
1928. Next [C, 2], at “and sorrow is,” he proves his proposition. First [2, a] as it concerns adversity; second [2, b], at “However, in prosperity etc.,” as it concerns prosperity; third [2, c], at “For this reason etc.,” he deduces a corollary from the discussions. He treats the first point in a threefold manner. First [a, i] he explains his proposition, observing that people in sorrow feel consolation from the presence of sympathetic friends.
1929. Second [a, ii], at “Therefore, someone,” he seeks the reason for this observation (1928). He offers two reasons, hesitating to decide which is stronger. The first is taken from the example of people who carry a heavy weight; one of these is relieved by another who joins in lifting that load with him. In a similar way it seems that one person may more easily bear the burden of sorrow if another bears the same burden with him.
1930. But this similarity does not seem to apply to sorrow itself, for the other does not take on himself a part of the same numerical sorrow which someone feels, so that his sorrow may be lightened. However, it can apply to the cause of the sorrow. For example, if a man grieves because of damage that he suffered while a friend undergoes part of the damage, the injury of the other-and consequently the sorrowis diminished.
1931. The second reason is bctter and belongs to the sorrow itself. It is evident that every extraneous pleasure lightens sorrow. But the presence of a sympathetic friend brings gladness in two ways. In one way, because the very presence of a friend is delightful. In the other way because, perceiving that his friend sympathizes with him, he delights in his friendship; and thus his sorrow is lessened.
1932. Since it is outside his principal intention, he adds that we must dismiss for the present the question whether, because of these observations (1929-1931) or some other reason, our griefs are assuaged by the presence of sympathetic friends. Nevertheless, what we have described certainly happens (1931).
1933. Third [a, iii ],at “But the presence,” he shows that the presence of a sympathetic friend has an admixture of sorrow. First [iii, x] he explains his proposition. Next [iii, y], at “Hence persons etc.,” he deduces a corollary from the discussions. He remarks first that the presence of sympathetic friends seems to have an admixture of pleasure and pain. The very sight of a friend is comforting for the other general reason, and especially to an unfortunate person whose sorrow is assuaged by the friend; to this extent a man consoles his friend both by his countenance and his word if he is epidexios, i.e., apt at offering sympathy. For one friend knows the feeling of another, and what comforts and distresses his friend; thus he can apply a fitting remedy for sorrow. In this way then the presence of a sympathetic friend is pleasing. But on the other hand it is distressing inasmuch as a man feels that his friend is saddened in his misfortunes. Indeed every rightly disposed person avoids, as much as he can, being the cause of pain to his friend.
1934. Then [iii, y], at “Hence persons,” he concludes from the premises that people, who have a manly soul, naturally fear and take care lest their friends be saddened on account of themselves. It is of the nature of friendship that a person should wish to benefit a friend and not be the cause of some evil to him. Manly people do not allow their friends to be saddened for them in any way unless the help, which is provided by their friends to overcome their sorrow, should far outweigh the distress of the friends. For they permit their suffering to be alleviated by a modicum of suffering on the part of their friends. In all cases manly natures are unwilling to have others weep with them, for they themselves are not given to lamenting.
1935. However, there are some men of a womanish disposition who are pleased to have others sorrowing with them at the same time, and love as friends those who mourn with them. But among the different types of individuals we ought to imitate in everything men of nobler or more manly character.
1936. Next [2, b], at “However, in prosperity” he explains the second part of his proposition, viz., that the presence of friends in prosperity is praiseworthy. He remarks that the presence of friends in prosperity affords two pleasures. First, conversation with friends, because it is pleasant to converse with one’s friends. Second, the fact that he now sees that his friends are pleased by his benefactions. For everyone seeks to be a cause of delight to his friends.
1937. At “For this reason” [2, C] he deduces a corollary from the discussion, which contains some moral
doctrines. First [c, i] in reference to those who call their friends together. Then [c, ii], at “Conversely,” in reference to those who of their own accord approach their friends. He presents three moral principles touching on the first point. First Aristotle concludes from the premises that, since it is pleasing for a man to see his friends find pleasure in his own opulence, he ought promptly to invite his friends to share his prosperity. For a good man should benefit his friends.
1938. The second principle is that a man should tardily and reluctantly summon his friend to share his misfortunes. For he ought to transfer to his friend as little as possible of his troubles. As proof he offers the proverb of one who said: “None other than I need burdened be.” As if to say: “It is enough that I suffer misfortune; my friends need not bear them.”
1939. The third principle is that friends should be asked to participate in misfortunes when they can, with little trouble, furnish great assistance and the like to a person.
1940. Then [c, ii], at “Conversely,” he offers three principles on the part of people going of their own accord to friends. The first is that sometimes a man, even uninvited, ought to go readily to friends who are suffering misfortunes. For a friend appropriately confers benefits especially on those who are in need and are ashamed, or think it unbecoming to ask this of a friend. In this way, when assistance is given to a person not requesting it, the action is performed in a better or more honorable way both for the donor and the petitioner. The reason is that the giver seems to bestow more spontaneously and the beneficiary to act more virtuously in being reluctant to burden a friend. This is also more satisfying to both, since the recipient does not feel the embarrassment that a man suffers in making a request of a friend; and the giver is more pleased that unasked he does a good turn as of his own accord.
1941. The second principle is that a man should readily offer to join with his friends in prosperity (and this is necessary) for a person needs friends to co-operate with him.
1942. The third principle is: if someone wishes to be kindly received by a well-to-do friend, he ought to approach the friend modestly, i.e., reluctantly and not readily. For it is not proper to show oneself eager to accept help from a friend. But a man ought to fear and beware of a reputation for (un)pleasantness, i.e., lest he get the name of being displeasing to his friend because he is troublesome or makes himself a nuisance. This obviously happens sometimes; for, when people occupy themselves too much in accepting favors, they become burdensome and displeasing to their friends. Or, according to another reading, a man should fear, i.e., beware of, the reputation for pleasure in lingering: so that his friend gets the impression that he likes to stay on with him for the sake of benefits.
1943. Finally, he concludes from the premises that the presence of friends is desirable in all circumstances.
Friends’ Pleasure in Living Together
III. HE HERE INQUIRES ABOUT (FRIENDS) LIVING TOGETHER.
A. He proposes the question. — 1944-1945
May we say then that, as lovers delight especially in seeing the persons they love and prefer this sense to all others because love begins and is preserved by this sense, so friends desire companionship of each other most of all?
B. He indicates the truth.
1. FIRST. — 1946
Friendship is in fact a partnership.
2. SECOND. — 1947
And as a man is to himself so is he to his friend. But the consciousness of his own existence is desirable; and so, of his friend’s existence. Now the activity of this consciousness takes place in living together—a thing, therefore, they naturally desire.
3. THIRD. — 1948-1949
Every man wishes to share with his friends whatever constitutes his existence or whatever makes his life worth living. Hence some drink or play at dice together, others join in athletic sports or in the study of philosophy; each class taking part in the activity they love best in life. Since they want to live with their friends, they engage in those occupations whose sharing gives them a sense of living together.
C. He deduces a corollary.
1. CONCERNING EVIL MEN. — 1950
Thus friendship of evil men is bad; for, being unstable, they associate 10 in wickedness and are made evil by becoming like each other.
2. CONCERNING THE GOOD. — 1951-1952
But the friendship of virtuous men is good and is increased by their conversation. Indeed they seem to become better by working and living together, for they see in each other what is at the same time pleasing to them. Hence the saying: “Noble deeds from noble men.” So much then for our treatment of friendship; next we will begin to treat pleasure.
COMMENTARY OF ST. THOMAS
1944. Now that he has completed the treatise on the number and need of friends, he here [III] inquires about their living together. He discusses this question in a threefold manner. First [III, A] he proposes the question. Then [III, B], at “Friendship is etc.,” he indicates the truth. Finally [III, C], at “Thus friendship etc.,” he deduces a corollary from the discussion. He says that living together is based on a likeness of friendship to sensual love, in which we observe that lovers desire most of all to see the persons they love. They prefer this sense, sight, to the other external senses because the passion of love begins especially by seeing—as has been noted (1822-1823)—and is preserved by this sense. In fact, this love is stimulated in a particular way by beauty that is perceived by sight.
1945. The question then is, what in friendship is analogous to seeing? Is it companionship itself? thus that, as lovers delight most in seeing one another, so friends in living with one another. In a different text this point is presented not as a question but as a conclusion. The text reads: “Accordingly then as lovers etc.” This can be concluded from what has already been proved (1936, 1943), that the presence of friends is pleasing in all circumstances.
1946. Then [III, B], at “Friendship is,” he indicates the truth in this question or conclusion by three reasons. The first [B, 1] is that friendship consists in a partnership (communicatione), as is clear from our discussion in the eighth book (1698, 1702, 1724). But people share themselves with one another especially by living together. Hence living together seems to be most proper and pleasing to friendship.
1947. He offers the second reason at “And as a man” [B, 2]. As a man is to himself so is he to his friend-this is obvious from previous statements (1797). But in reference to himself a man is so constituted that the consciousness of his own existence is desirable and delightful to him. Therefore it is also delightful to him to be conscious of his friend’s existence. But this is present in living together, since they are conscious of one another by reason of the mutual activity they perceive. Consequently, friends naturally desire to live together.
1948. He presents the third reason, at “Every man wishes” [B, 3], taken from experience. We see that men wish to share with their friends the activity they most enjoy, which they consider their existence and choose to live foras it were ordering their whole life to it.
1949. Consequently, some wish to drink with their friends; others, to play together at dice; still others, to take exercise with them in tournaments, wrestling and so on; or even to hunt or study philosophy together. In this way each class wishes to remain with his friends in that activity which they love best among all the pursuits of this life. As they want to live with their friends, they mutually engage in occupations of this kind which they greatly enjoy, and which they think constitute their whole life. They take part in these activities whose sharing gives them the sense of living together. Thus it is clear that living together is most desirable in friendship.
1950. Next [III, C], at “Thus friendship,” he draws a conclusion from the premises about the friendship of good and evil men. First [C, I] concerning evil men, that their friendship is bad; for they find pleasure in evil deeds most of all, and take part in them with one another. Being unstable, they always go from bad to worse since one becomes evil by imitating the other.
1951. Second [C, 2], at “But the friendship,” he draws a conclusion concerning the good, that friendship between virtuous men is good and is always increased in goodness by exemplary conversation. Friends become better by working together and loving each other. For one receives from the other an example of virtuous work which is at the same time pleasing to him. Hence it is proverbial that man adopts noble deeds from noble men.
1952. Finally, he concludes with the epilogue that such is our treatment of friendship and that next we must discuss pleasure (1953-2064). Thus he terminates the teaching of the ninth book.