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Lori hurries into the office at 8:30 am and greets her friends Mary, Anna and Rosie who are already at their desks. Janice, her direct supervisor gives her a stern look as she glances at the clock; late again. Anna has been working as the company accountant for about 7 years embezzles a small sum every month for the last three years…
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Download file to see previous pages Mary, her friend for many years manages the marketing campaign at the company and frequently they have lunch together. They are all "friends", but in what capacity
What does Aristotle have to do with Lori and her co-workers Although centuries have gone by, his theories on how we relate to one another, how we conduct ourselves and what motivates us have stood the test of time.
Aristotle, born in 384 B.C. began studying under Plato at the age of 17 and remained at his school for 20 years, in the later years as a teacher (Cliffs Notes, Author). He also had the appointment to tutor the 13 year old son of Philip of Macedonia, Alexander, who later became known as Alexander the Great. During the period of Alexander's conquests, Aristotle began his own school in Athens and it is during this time that he most of his "important writing and teaching" (Cliff Notes, Author).
philosophy, politics but also touched on issues on morality and ethics. The compilation of his lectures and writings in the compilation Nicomachean Ethics give extensive thought to the reasons and motivations for our behavior. Aristotle believed that "Every art and every inquiry, and similarly every action and pursuit, is thought to aim at some good" (Nicomachean Ethics Book I.1) and that the ultimate good is to achieve happiness. Happiness is sought for the sake of being happy whereas other goals such as being healthy, or rich is sought out in order to be happy. So it seems that the different activities in which we engage in life are all a small part or subset of the big goal to be happy.
Friendship is one aspect of the subset. Aristotle says it "is a virtue or implies virtue, and is besides most necessary with a view to living." (Nicomachean Ethics Book VIII.1.) In the scenario at the beginning, Lori has become friends with the people with whom she works, a necessary occurrence that enables her to enjoy the time spent at the company. Developing the friendships contributes to her happiness. Aristotle puts friendship into three categories: perfect friendship or that which is based on being good, useful friendship and pleasant friendship. Lori liking Mary for the sake of Mary (and vice versa) is an example of genuine friendship. (Book VIII.3) Since the relationship is based on desiring purely what is good for the other, this type of friendship is long lasting as "goodness is an enduring thing" (Book VIII.3). However, Aristotle believes that this type of friendship does not occur frequently as not only are 'good' people a rarity, but it also takes time to cultivate. Note that perfect relationships can also be pleasant and/or useful; however, pleasant or useful friendships are not perfect and therefore, not lasting. These relationships are considered to be mutually beneficial, or what Aristotle calls equal. Lori's new friendship with Rosie is a useful friendship in that there is a benefit for her. Lori learns faster from Rosie and increases her value at the office and Rosie is able to decrease her workload to a manageable quantity -- mutually useful. If Rosie did not have a huge workload, the
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contribution to the friendship could be a combination of utility and pleasantness or in other words, Rosie is useful to Lori and finds ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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