The doctrine of friendship is the first experience of formulating and solving communication problems. Emphasizing the high moral value of friendship, Aristotle analyzes its quantitative and qualitative parameters, and produces the method of classification of its various kinds.
In his work, Aristotle submits the first holistic sketch of the theory of friendship as independent ethical relationship that do not coincide with other types of social relationships and emotional affection. He considers friendship as a specific human factors, explanation and purpose of which is to be found without reference to the laws of nature or a transcendent benefits that appear to be beyond the empirical existence. In other words, Aristotle puts friendship under not only philosophical and ethical, but also psychological analysis.
Friendship, according to Aristotle, is the greatest social and personal value, «the most necessary factor for life.»
Aristotle approaches the definition of friendship simultaneously from several sides.
First, depending on the type of partner relationships distinguish it parental, fraternal, related, married, neighborhood, political, social, erotic and based on hospitality. This classification is objective, but at the same time refers to the specifics associated with these relationships emotional experiences.
Secondly, the philosopher distinguishes level relationships and relationship based on social or ethical superiority of one partner over the another.
Thirdly, it differentiates the nature of feelings that are experienced by a person, distinguishing calm friendliness and affection in general, personalized and friendly feeling of passionate love and desire.
Fourth, Aristotle classifies motifs to create and maintain friendly relations: utilitarian friendship - for the benefit, advantage; Hedonic friendship - for fun, pleasure; perfect friendship in which these motifs are subject to disinterested love of a person as such.
In his work Aristotle made following definitions on the term «friendship»: friendship is the most necessary factor in life, because no one wants to live without friends even if he has all other goods; friendly relations is the greatest good for the country, if these relationships take place the cases of disturbances are less likely to appear; friendship is more about being in love than to be loved; intimate friendship is friendship with the few.
For real friendship the necessary and important are the following three conditions: 1) wisdom; 2) prudence; 3) moral virtues: honesty, truthfulness, integrity and decency. Those who are deprived of even one of these three conditions are friends whose friendship is about fun or benefit on the grounds that they have purely subjective look at friendship. In contrast, people whose friendship is based on the best moral characteristics, will become disinterested real friends to each other.
There are three essential preconditions for friendship: 1) mutual commitment to each other; 2) joint leisure time; 3) similar views on life.
The main sign of friendship - is enjoying mutual communication. Spending their time together, friends enjoy socializing with each other, morally improving themselves. And therefore, being a friend to many people at the same time in the real friendship is impossible, because in true friendship a person must gain the necessary experience and get close tightly to the partner that it quite difficult when a person has a lot of friends at the same time, because according to humans nature only the one of immediate environment can be provided with an advantage.
Complaints and accusations arise mainly among friends who are involved in friendship for benefits. This also deeply explains the fact that for such friendship number one priority is advantage. But after a certain period of time this kind of friendship may become a true friendship, if its members are decent people.
Unlikely to friendship for benefits the friendship for fun does not usually experience complaints. Indeed, when friends enjoying a common pastime, they get a mutual admiration of communicating with each other. A friendship that is about benefits often leads to complaints, because partners ask each other for support, and always hope to get more from the partner, than they gave. There are also cases when one of the friends is almost certain that he was cheated and he was given much less than he expected. Giving to the partners goods, the person blames others that he does not receive as much as he should, but he considers himself worthy of it. However, someone who is good friend is not always able to provide support to the extent desired. This is because that friendship for the benefit is always somehow connected with moral obligations between the partners. Even though the majority of people wants to be involved in true friendship, their choice unconsciously stops at benefits.