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By Daniel Schwartz

Daniel Schwartz examines the perspectives on friendship of the good medieval thinker Thomas Aquinas. For Aquinas friendship is the suitable kind of dating that rational beings may still domesticate. Schwartz argues that Aquinas essentially revises a few of the major gains of Aristotle's paradigmatic account of friendship in order to accommodate the case of friendship among greatly unequal beings: guy and God. accordingly, Aquinas offers a broader view of friendship than Aristotle's, making an allowance for the next volume of confrontation. loss of mutual realizing, and inequality among neighbors.

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Eth. 1169a 25–6. ⁴⁹ Following Augustine’s dictum that ‘cupidity is the poison of charity’ in De diversis quaestionibus LXXXIII, I. 36 (PL 40. 25), and alluded to in ST I–II q. 99 a. 6 ad 1; ST II–II q. 118 a. 5 obj. 2 ad 2, q. 184 a. ; ST III q. 79 a. 6 ad 3; Mal. q. 13 a. 2 obj. 2, ad 2; Quodl. III q. 6 a. ; Perf. c. 6 [569]. ⁵⁰ ST II–II q. 19 a. 3c. (cupiditas as love of moneys, wordly love); ST II–II q. 129 a. 2c. (as love of wealth and honours); ST I–II q. 30 a. 2 obj. 2. (as love of transient things, after Augustine), Dec.

A further reason for which concord is necessarily incomplete in this world can be found in Aquinas’s Commentary on Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics. Aristotle asserts that concord can only exist between decent or virtuous men {epieikês} because (among other reasons) their views are stable. Aquinas, taking on Aristotle’s use of the expression ‘so to speak’, adds: ‘ ‘‘so to speak’’ because it is impossible for men to have absolute immutability in this life’; Eth. IX. 6 [1839]. ⁴⁴ Ver. q. 23 a. 7c.

Un. a. 2c. ⁴⁵ He also thinks that the heretics, in choosing to believe propositions which are contrary to those taught by the Church,⁴⁶ cease to be part of the Church. Since the Church is for Aquinas a society or community,⁴⁷ the case of the heretic would constitute a case in which difference of opinions is an obstacle, not only to interpersonal friendship but also to membership of a social group. The objection argues that, given that, for Aquinas, Augustine, and Jerome, Paul and Barnabas and the disputing angels are friends, by the same account heretics and non-heretics should be considered friends also.

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