Repository logo

Friendship and the role of emotion in Aristotelian and Stoic conceptions of eudaimonia




Lins, Nicole G., author
Archie, Andre, advisor
MacKenzie, Matt, committee member
Plaisance, Patrick, committee member

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Ancient conceptions of virtuous and perfect friendships – specifically in Aristotle and the Stoics (i.e. Cicero, Epictetus, and Seneca) – attempt to describe the proper relations between people, when and why friendships arise, and how we ought to treat our friends. I will argue that the Stoic conception of friendship, when looked at through modern-day psychological research on what is necessary to a good friendship, presents a better model for friendship than Aristotle. This is because the Stoics better capture the positive aspects in friendship through their stance on emotion and how one ought to live in order to live well. When one lives as a Stoic, he is better placed to maintain a stable level of psychological well-being, and he is better able to care for his friends. Aristotle’s conception of friendship falls short because of his claim that friendship is grounded on moral virtue alone, as well as his claim that there are necessary contingent goods to happiness, both of which make his conception of friendship unstable and less preferable. My positive argument for the Stoics having the better conception of friendship rests on psychological research on friendship and well-being, on their ability to capture the plurality for grounds of friendship, and on their own mental stability and attitudes of affection toward others. Because the Stoic conception is supported by empirical evidence and what people actually experience in good friendships, it provides a better model for how one ought to live and act concerning their friends.


Rights Access



Associated Publications