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Psychagogy and Friendship

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Chapter Summary

Two aspects of friendship can be extrapolated in light of Epicurean psychagogy. First, the forthcoming attitude and confessional practice are part of the Epicurean ideal of friendship. A second more subtle aspect can be abstracted from the correctional practices and open-ended nature of the fellowship. These practices gain significance in light of ancient discussions on having many friends and the importance of testing a person's character before friendship is proffered. The reason for these correctional practices and the reason for the very existence of a work like On Frank Criticism is, in the author's view, the unregulated recruitment criterion among Epicureans. In his discussion of reputable occupations in On Household Management, Philodemus not only advocates occupations which secure the leisure to be in a company of friends and enjoy the Epicurean way of life, but also underscores the importance of friendship.

Keywords: Epicurean psychagogy; friendship; On Frank Criticism; On Household Management; Philodemus



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