Aristotle & Self-Love

I particularly found this section very interesting because it was a good example of the outline Aristotle presented on the good life in chapters I-III. Friendship, and self-loving is one of the virtues of a good life. This section particularly gave some understanding on how ethically people should act. On top of this, I also have always had the question of whether people are selfish or altruistic. This section doesn't answer the question, but Aristotle's arguments give it some insight and a better understanding of the situation and my opinion on it.
For the most part Aristotle argues whether people are self-loving, or unconditionally love others. He gives valid arguments for both sides, but comes to the conclusion that people are self-loving through a means of loving others. This is explain that when people love others, it is because they are close to the point that they see themselves in their friends, and by loving their friends, they are self-loving. Following this he breaks self-loving into two groups, the vicious (selfish people) and the decent (kind and helpful people). He makes the argument that both these people are self-loving, but the differences is that the vicious follow feelings and the decent follow reason. Because the vicious follow feelings they have their immediate pleasures satisfied. The decent are self-loving too, but they realize that by loving others, they are loved in return, therefore they love others for the love in return.
The reason I wrote this paper is because I found it very interesting that both groups are self-loving, but only the vicious group is stereotyped as being selfish or self-loving and it is a negative thing. Particularly people are hated for being self-loving, when both groups are self-loving, but only the vicious group is perceived to be self-loving.
One last thing I found very interesting after writing the paper, is that Aristotle argues the decent person is a better means of acting, for the self. And at the same time it is a better means for society as a whole. I doubt Aristotle would alter his ideas to please society, but it is a large coincidence that the best means for a person being selfish is also the best means for a society.
I found this very interesting and wouldn't write an essay for it outside of class, but still would have read and tried to understand it outside of class, so if anyone wants to look at my essay on it I would be happy to send it, also if there is any commentary or questions, I would be happy to discuss too. My email is ude.usp|3305nwm#ude.usp|3305nwm

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