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V] Kindly Feeling, though resembling Friendship, is not identical with it, because it may exist in reference to those whom we do not know and without the object of it being aware of its existence, which Friendship cannot. (This, by the way, has also been said before.) And further, it is not even Affection because it does not imply intensity nor yearning, which are both consequences of Affection. Again Affection requires intimacy but Kindly Feeling may arise quite suddenly, as happens sometimes in respect of men against whom people are matched in any way, I mean they come to be kindly disposed to them and sympathise in their wishes, but still they would not join them in any action, because, as we said, they conceive this feeling of kindness suddenly and so have but a superficial liking.
What it does seem to be is the starting point of a Friendship; just as pleasure, received through the sight, is the commencement of Love: for no one falls in love without being first pleased with the personal appearance of the beloved object, and yet he who takes pleasure in it does not therefore necessarily love, but when he wearies for the object in its absence and desires its presence. Exactly in the same way men cannot be friends without having passed through the stage of Kindly Feeling, and yet they who are in that stage do not necessarily advance to Friendship: they merely have an inert wish for the good of those toward whom they entertain the feeling, but would not join them in any action, nor put themselves out of the way for them. So that, in a metaphorical way of speaking, one might say that it is dormant Friendship, and when it has endured for a space and ripened into intimacy comes to be real Friendship; but not that whose object is advantage or pleasure, because such motives cannot produce even Kindly Feeling.
I mean, he who has received a kindness requites it by Kindly Feeling towards his benefactor, and is right in so doing: but he who wishes another to be prosperous, because he has hope of advantage through his instrumentality, does not seem to be kindly disposed to that person but rather to himself; just as neither is he his friend if he pays court to him for any interested purpose.
Kindly Feeling always arises by reason of goodness and a certain amiability, when one man gives another the notion of being a fine fellow, or brave man, etc., as we said was the case sometimes with those matched against one another.
VI] Unity of Sentiment is also plainly connected with Friendship, and therefore is not the same as Unity of Opinion, because this might exist even between people unacquainted with one another.
Nor do men usually say people are united in sentiment merely because they agree in opinion on any point, as, for instance, on points of astronomical science (Unity of Sentiment herein not having any connection with Friendship), but they say that Communities have Unity of Sentiment when they agree respecting points of expediency and take the same line and carry out what has been determined in common consultation.
Thus we see that Unity of Sentiment has for its object matters of action, and such of these as are of importance, and of mutual, or, in the case of single States, common, interest: when, for instance, all agree in the choice of magistrates, or forming alliance with the Lacedmonians, or appointing Pittacus ruler (that is to say, supposing he himself was willing). [Sidenote: 1167b] But when each wishes himself to be in power (as the brothers in the Phoeniss), they quarrel and form parties: for, plainly, Unity of Sentiment does not merely imply that each entertains the same idea be it what it may, but that they do so in respect of the same object, as when both the populace and the sensible men of a State desire that the best men should be in office, because then all attain their object.
Thus Unity of Sentiment is plainly a social Friendship, as it is also said to be: since it has for its object-matter things expedient and relating to life.
And this Unity exists among the good: for they have it towards themselves and towards one another, being, if I may be allowed the expression, in the same position: I mean, the wishes of such men are steady and do not ebb and flow like the Euripus, and they wish what is just and expedient and aim at these things in common.
The bad, on the contrary, can as little have Unity of Sentiment as they can be real friends, except to a very slight extent, desiring as they do unfair advantage in things profitable while they shirk labour and service for the common good: and while each man wishes for these things for himself he is jealous of and hinders his neighbour: and as they do not watch over the common good it is lost. The result is that they quarrel while they are for keeping one another to work but are not willing to perform their just share.
VII] Benefactors are commonly held to have more Friendship for the objects of their kindness than these for them: and the fact is made a subject of discussion and inquiry, as being contrary to reasonable expectation.
The account of the matter which satisfies most persons is that the one are debtors and the others creditors: and therefore that, as in the case of actual loans the debtors wish their creditors out of the way while the creditors are anxious for the preservation of their debtors, so those who have done kindnesses desire the continued existence of the people they have done them to, under the notion of getting a return of their good offices, while these are not particularly anxious about requital.
Epicharmus, I suspect, would very probably say that they who give this solution judge from their own baseness; yet it certainly is like human nature, for the generality of men have short memories on these points, and aim rather at receiving than conferring benefits.
But the real cause, it would seem, rests upon nature, and the case is not parallel to that of creditors; because in this there is no affection to the persons, but merely a wish for their preservation with a view to the return: whereas, in point of fact, they who have done kindnesses feel friendship and love for those to whom they have done them, even though they neither are, nor can by possibility hereafter be, in a position to serve their benefactors.
1168a] And this is the case also with artisans; every one, I mean, feels more affection for his own work than that work possibly could for him if it were animate. It is perhaps specially the case with poets: for these entertain very great affection for their poems, loving them as their own children. It is to this kind of thing I should be inclined to compare the case of benefactors: for the object of their kindness is their own work, and so they love this more than this loves its creator.
And the account of this is that existence is to all a thing choiceworthy and an object of affection; now we exist by acts of working, that is, by living and acting; he then that has created a given work exists, it may be said, by his act of working: therefore he loves his work because he loves existence. And this is natural, for the work produced displays in act what existed before potentially.