From assertions attributed to Aristotle in Lives of Eminent Philosophers by Diogenes Laertius
Quote: Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies
This quote is often disputed in either of its two most common forms - "Love is composed of single soul inhabiting two bodies" or "Love is a single soul inhabiting two bodies". The origination is thought to have come from Aristotles response to the question - "What is a friend?" his reply being "A single soul dwelling in two bodies."
Given Aristotle belief that one's soul is made up of one's character and values - this response suggests that Aristotle believed friendship was a sharing of values - therefore by sharing values - friendships are in effect one soul - which live in two bodies. In this instance love and friendship are used interchangeably and should be used in reference to mutual admiration - e.g. brotherly love vs. amorous love.Read more »