FRIENDSHIP: A relation between men for the purpose of mutual support and furtherance, having its root in the natural instinct for association between those of like tastes, aims, and desires. It is to be distinguished from the communion of sexes, and from relations of authority (e.g., that between employer and employed]. As long as the individual was absorbed in the community, the realization of friendship was not possible. Since ancient Greek philosophy was guided by the tendency to secure for the individual his personal value in opposition to the community, without finding the right ethical basis for mutual relations, it naturally esteemed friendship, especially between men of like philosophical training. Owing to their deficient appreciation of the moral value of married life, Greeks like Socrates and Theophrastua even went so far as to give friendship the precedence over every other form of love.
In modern times speculation on friendship has
been less prominent, because in Christianity friendships arise everywhere as a matter of course.
Christianity prepared an entirely new soil for friendship. While in the Aristotelian conception of
and in Cicero's amicitid the general ethical
sense of communion is confused with the special
idea of friendship, in Christianity both are cleSsly
separated. The former has been purified and perfected in the love of one's neighbor
Pet. i. 7); still higher moat be ranked the union of
the saved children of God
The purpose of friendship has been variously stated. According to Socrates and the Stoics, it is profit; according to Aristotle, profit, pleasure, and virtue; according to Epicurus, the propose is profit, the consequence enjoyment. Cicero more correctly put the natural impulse which binds men to men before a conscious striving for profit, although he would have done still better, had he said want and need instead of natural impulse. Friendships
Bibliography: Cioero and R. W. Emerson, Friendship; two Essay#, New York, 1904; H. Black, Friendship, ib. 1904; F. L. Knowles, Value of Friendahip, Boston, 1904; H. D. Thoreau, Essay on Friendship, East Aurora, N. Y., 1904; M. A. Ayer, Joys of Friendship, Boston, 1905; Aristotle, Ethics, good Eng. transl., ad. J. Burnet, London, 1904.
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