n Acta Classica : Proceedings of the Classical Association of South Africa - Epicurean education and the rhetoric of concern

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There has been a large amount of scholarly controversy over the precise nature of the motivations at play in the Epicurean accounts of justice and friendship, and whether any form of altruism or other-concern is compatible with Epicurean hedonist ethics. This paper addresses this tension between self- and other-concern from a novel angle, by examining the motivations behind Epicurean educational practice. What emerges is a rather complex motivational picture that reaffirms the Epicureans' philosophical commitment to egoism, but at the same time shows it to be more nuanced and sensitive than one might expect given their theoretical postulates and the reaction of ancient critics such as Cicero.


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