Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Timothy O'Keefe - Chair

Second Advisor

Dr. Andrew I. Cohen

Third Advisor

Dr. Sandra Dwyer

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Andrew Altman


Although the Epicurean ethical system is fundamentally egoistic and hedonistic, it attributes a surprisingly significant role to friendship. Even so, I argue that traditional discussions of Epicurean friendship fail to adequately account for the value (or pleasure) of individual friends. In this thesis I present an amended notion of Epicurean friendship that better accounts for all of the pleasure friends afford. However, the success of my project requires rejecting an Epicurean ethical principle. Because of this, I explore textual evidence both in favor and against the amended notion I propose and the problematic ethical principle. After arguing against the problematic ethical principle and dispelling additional objections to my project, I conclude that Epicureans should endorse the amended notion of friendship I have developed.

Included in

Philosophy Commons