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- Philia (φιλία philía) means friendship or affectionate love in modern Greek. It is a dispassionate virtuous love, a concept developed by Aristotle. It includes loyalty to friends, family, and community, and requires virtue, equality and familiarity. In ancient texts, philos denoted a general type of love, used for love between family, between friends, a desire or enjoyment of an activity, as well as between lovers.
A dispassionate, virtuous love, a concept developed by Aristotle
Philos describes the love between two people who have common interests and experiences, or a fondness for. Hemophiliacs apparently seemed to ancient doctors to have a “fondness” to bleeding, for example. Unlike Eros, which pulses up and down like waves on the ocean, Philos steadily grows, like a building being constructed stone by stone. For this reason, when close friends are separated for a while and reunited, they will often say “it is like we picked up exactly where we left off.” Philos is half about the circumstances, and half about the commitment of two people to one another; it says “I love who we are together,” or in case of a non person: “I am fond of this food.” Philos love generally grows over time except in the case of some kind of betrayal. It is commonly used in the New Testament, as in Matthew 10:37, John 12:25, and Revelation 3:19.