published on February 5, 2019
Eros and Mind
Aristotle on Philosophic Friendship and the Cosmos of Life
While Plato and Aristotle both recognize the importance of friendship and love, Aristotle seems to be as much the philosopher of philia as Plato is of eros. Aristotle’s extensive discussion of friendship in the Nicomachean Ethics includes only a few scattered remarks about eros. Following the thread of those remarks, however, uncovers a movement from the disparagement of eros, contrasted with friendship of the virtuous, to its elevation as the shared experience of philosophic friendship. In the quite different context of Metaphysics Lambda, eros serves as the model for Aristotle’s famous account of the unmoved mover, where the activity of thought thinking itself provides, as an object of love, the ultimate source of motion in the universe. This paper explores what connection or common ground there may be between the presumably cosmological role of eros directed to the completed activity of mind and its place in Aristotle’s discussion of friendship.