Reconciling Epicurean Friendship and Egoism Through a Rule Egoist Reading
Keywords:Epicureansim, Friendship, Ethics, Rule Egoism, Ethical Egoism, Greek Philosophy, Philosophy
Ancient Greece gave rise to many prominent philosophical figures. Of these, a notable academic was Epicurus (341 - 270 BC), a Samoan who was influential in the development of the Stoic school of thought. While Epicurus’s scholarship includes several subject areas, he is most notable for his work in ethics and egoism. As a subset of this philosophical field, Epicurus investigates the role of a selfless, virtuous friendship in the cultivation of a moral life, as well as the need for a selfish and rational egoism. Thus, as scholars have pointed out, the notions of selfless friendship and self-interest egoism, while maintained parallelly by Epicurus, seem to be in tension with each other. This paper examines the relationship between an ideal Epicurean friendship and Epicurus’s concept of egoism, and attempts to resolve both notions under a reading of rule egoism.
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