There are two ways a person could be a lover of self. He could either be very self-involved, hoarding all wealth, honors, and physical pleasures for himself, or he could be a lover of self who benefits himself and others by doing noble acts. In negative self-love, he is much more concerned with giving himself preference in regard to the objects most men desire. “For the wicked man, what he does clashes with what he ought to do, but what the good man ought to do he does.” (NE, 1169a 15) According to Aristotle, it is more important to love yourself in the positive way (he actually declares that the other version of self-love is not love at all because it harms both he who loves himself and those who are around him more than helping either party) than it is to love your friends. If we all took responsibility to become good and virtuous people, the world would be a much better place. A truly decent person loves himself (as though he was his own friend) and acts the same way towards his friends. It is important to note that in ancient Greece, people’s identities were greatly tied
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This note was uploaded on 04/23/2008 for the course PHIL 201 taught by Professor Preuss during the Fall '08 term at Binghamton.