Date of Award

Summer 8-11-2011

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Timothy O'Keefe

Second Advisor

Sebastian Rand

Third Advisor

Andrew Cohen

Fourth Advisor

Gerard Pendrick


Friendship and hedonism are both major components of Epicureanism. I attempt to relieve the tension that seems to follow from endorsing both of these. I argue that Epicurean friendships require valuing a friend’s well-being in the same way as one’s own and that embarking on such friendships is what David Schmidtz terms a maieutic end – one that is achieved by taking on a new set of ends. This conception fits with other-regarding concern that is espoused throughout the Epicurean texts discussing friendship and, as I argue, remains consistent with other psychological and ethical commitments of Epicureanism.