Philosophical Concept Of Friendship

I would like to discuss in this paper the concept of “friendship” and its significance in our life. The concept of “friendship” has old roots and Aristotle defined it many centuries ago. I think we should think about this notion through the historical perspective and also connect it with our today’s reality.

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I would like to present in this several definitions of friendship and they will reflect different eras of humankind existence. According to modern definition of a friend we can say that it is defined as “one joined to another in intimacy and mutual benevolence independently of sexual or family love”. (Yager, 2002) But according to Aristotle this term is much deeper and is used in broader frames. According to Hardie “Aristotle regards less intimate bonds as friendships as well as the intimate relationship in the modern definition. Relationships between husband and wife, father and son, neighbors, business partners, team members, members of a political party, teacher and student, etc. would all be viewed as friendships in Aristotle’s eyes.” (Hardie, 1968)

Using previous definitions as example and basing on the we could determine that first of all, the word “friendship” has not one, but several different meanings. And it is normal not only in our time, because it was normal also many years ago. If to be exact in our calculations, something about two thousand years ago it was found by Aristotle, who actually tried to define the different types of friendship and to select among them true friendship. He distinguishes mainly friendship based on the interest and friendship of the noble, which alone deserves the right to be present. Therefore, even in ancient Greece, the relations linking the two businesspersons were seen not as a friendship, but as interest in the success of the common cause. If to be strict in our judgments and taking into account Aristotle’s thoughts we should mention that, the friendship between politicians will be also often seen as a way to succeed in politics. (Kraut, 1989) Thus, if we briefly list the most common meaning of that word, we see that in most cases the word “friendship” has little in common with our notion of a real friend.

We know that there are three main features of friendship and among them are recognition of being in this relationship; mutuality of the relationship; wanting the best for another person. But there are several types of friendship that should not be mixed with each other. Each type show one side of people’s relationships and sometimes it is easily to confuse it with friendship.

Friendship is valued it in different religions in its own way and we should look at them attentively. For example we see that this notion really variously interprets in Judaism, Christianity, or Islam, but its has the same essence in general understanding. For example, in Christianity, friendship is secondary to the universal love of agape; in Judaism, friendship is secondary to the love of family, but in Islamic teaching friendship – is a force that promotes the identification that does not value things, and horizons of its existence in the world. I mean that friendship is a high level of personal morality and to be a friend is honorable status in Islam.

According to Islamic teaching people should know that people around them are divided into three categories: for strangers, the familiar and friends. I would like to present the next information in the form of advice taking from Islam, because this from of presentation will allow to plunge into the question of friendship with more details.

First of all, at a meeting with strangers do not interfere in their conversation; do not listen to empty talk, especially if there used bad words. Try a smaller meet with them, and when they meet you try to advice them in a friendly manner to pay their attention to their bad deeds. According to people familiar to you beware as you can. Do not look at them with arrogance, because among them may be those who are best for you. Do not look at them with servility because of their wealth, because it would adversely affect you most. Do not use your faith for the sake of getting from them any benefit. In this case, they will not respect you. If they are hostile to you, then do not answer them the same way. Do not deceive yourself, if you exalt. Do not be surprised if people are on the side to talk to you about something bad. If you ask these people to help and they will help you, then do not forget to thank them for that and thank Allah the Almighty. In the event that your request does not comply, do not be offended. Accept excuses and do not be a deceiver himself. You should keep track of the faults of others. If you find some familiars generosity, respect and love, thank God, Who created them that love you.

According to Lewis, if you meet some damage on their part, try to stop them, because most people who are sowing injury, will try to settle with you even for small condemnation of their actions. (Lewis, 1974) Many of them are well-disposed mind, and soul like wolves. Do not rely on the friendship of those who have not experienced, as it should. Moreover, let your opinion of people will be good.

As for your friends, then they should have five qualities: intelligence, high morals, piety, honesty, indifference to the pleasures of this life. No friends with those who have low morals. These cannot restrain himself nor anger, nor in their pleasures.

Thinking about my own life experience, I would like to explain what I understand under the world friendship, taking into account my own life and all situations that occurred with me. Intuitively, the word friendship gives me an idea of profound, honest, pursuing a trust and candour. Empirical studies also show that the vast majority of people understand a friendship exactly in this way. In my opinion based on my research of the notion friendship, I could say that a friend – is a person who is a pleasure to do good to another, and who believes that the other feels for him the same feelings.

I believe that Friendship is necessary to everyone, even to those who denied it. In my opinion little child, and old man, rich and busy person … all of them need friends, and amount of such people is possibly to enumerate for a long time. Friendship based on common interests, mutual support, understanding and, most importantly, on trust. When people have no necessity to talk about something, they just do not make sense to communicate.

A friend – is a very important person in our lives. Sometimes I feel that it is necessary for hours someone to talk to, share problems and secrets, disbosom to the best friend. It is rather hard to be alone and have no friends in such moments, because most cherished to share only with a really close and trusted man. “Just Friends” or “familiar” as the called in Islamic teaching is impossible to tell very intimate things and ask for advice. In my mysteries and depth of my thoughts, I dedicate only one person – my best friend, person whom I trust and whom I love. This person differs from others that we have many difficult situations together and exactly is person was near me and help when it was necessary not only with kind word but also with deed.

Thus, based on observed information we could come to the conclusion that a friend, we cannot win in the lottery or just found on the street. Friendship – is a very complicated relationship. They do not appear immediately, out of nothing. Any relationship, including friendship, we need to build, and build for a long time. Spread each “brick”, each “stair”. This is a hard work – to build friendship, find it and then save, not lose.

I think that art of friendship is not given to everybody. This is a very fine science. Conceited, vain, and mercantile people cannot be true friends. They love only themselves and in friendship are trying to pull the maximum benefit for themselves. I wan to add in the end of my paper that friendship is very important to me and I have two best friends, I appreciate and respect these two people. They are the most precious thing in my life and I do not want to lose them in any case.