Aristotle and the Philosophy of Friendship. By Lorraine
Smith Pangle. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003. 255p.
Aristotle is not generally regarded as the friendliest of writers. No
doubt the starkness and seriousness of his elliptical prose is felt to
be less than companionable. Nonetheless, he does devote one-fifth of
the Nicomachean Ethics to an analysis of friendship. Moreover,
the two books on friendship (VIII and IX) hold the penultimate
position, coming right before Book X's concluding assertion of the
superiority of the philosophic life. Lorraine Smith Pangle seeks the
reason for and the meaning of friendship's privileged position
within Aristotle's ethical explorations.