Friends, Utility, and Final Value: A Problem in Nicomachean Ethics IX.9

Matthew Walker (Rutgers University)

On the one hand, Aristotle maintains that perfect friends are choiceworthy (and loveable) for their own sake, and not for the sake of further ends. On the other hand, in Nicomachean Ethics IX.9, Aristotle appears somehow to account for the choiceworthiness of friends by reference to their utility as sources of an agent’s self-awareness. I examine Aristotle’s views on the choiceworthiness of friends for their own sake (i.e., their final value), and offer a resolution of some of the apparent inconsistencies in Aristotle’s account.