A friend indeed: Aristotelian friendships in Ambridge

Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation


In the Nicomachean Ethics, written around 340 BCE, Aristotle divided friendship into three categories: of utility, of pleasure and of virtue. Friendships of utility are made with those who are, or may be, useful and are often better described as acquaintances. Friends of pleasure are closer than acquaintances, and are people who enjoy spending time together, and who may share hobbies or a sense of humour. Friendships of virtue, also known as friendships based on what is good, or as ‘perfect’ friendships, are probably what we would call very close, or best, friends: “In this kind of friendship each friend wishes good for the other, as a fellow good person” (Dawson, 2012, p.2).

This paper explores examples of Aristotelian friendship heard in The Archers: it also discusses the development of friends of utility into friends of pleasure (e.g. Jazzer and Jim), and considers whether there is a scarcity of friendships of virtue within Ambridge.

Dawson, R. (2012, Winter). Is Aristotle right about friendship? Praxis, 3(2), 1-16. Retrieved from http://castela.net/praxis/vol3issue2/Dawson_Aristotle_Friendship%20-%20 FINAL.pdf
Period20 Feb 2021
Event titleAcademic Archers Online Conference 2021
Event typeConference
Conference number6
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • friendship
  • radio drama
  • bbc
  • Characters
  • aristotelian friendship