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Kelly Arenson works on the history of ancient ethics, particularly the development of the notions of pleasure and happiness in Plato, Epicurus, and Aristotle. Her other interests include philosophy of death, philosophy of technology/robotics, and personal identity. She is the author of Health and Hedonism in Plato and Epicurus (2019) and the editor of The Routledge Handbook of Hellenistic Philosophy (2020).

In addition, Dr. Arenson is the founder and president of the Hellenistic Philosophy Society (HPS), an international organization centered on the study of Stoicism, Epicureanism, and Skepticism. The HPS convenes at the American Philosophical Association’s annual meetings.


Ph.D., Philosophy, Emory University, 2009
M.A., Philosophy, Emory University, 2007
B.A., Philosophy, Boston College, 2002


  • Philosophy of Death and Living
  • Philosophical Ethics
  • Ancient Philosophy
  • Philosophy of Science
  • Epistemology
  • Logic
  • Honors Philosophy
  • New course in development: Are Robots People?


  • Epicurean Ethics
  • Plato on the Body and the Non-Rational
  • Virtue Ethics
  • Aristotle’s Ethics;
  • Individual Platonic dialogues (particularly the Philebus, Timaeus, Phaedrus, and Republic)
  • Ancient Hedonism and Anti-hedonism.


Sole editor, The Routledge Handbook of Hellenistic Philosophy (2020).

Health and Hedonism in Plato and Epicurus (Bloomsbury, 2019).

“Epicureans on Pity, Slavery, and Autonomy.” Proceedings of the Boston Area Colloquium in Ancient Philosophy 34.1 (2019): 119–36.

“Epicureans on Marriage as Sexual Therapy,” Polis 33 (2016): 291–311.

“Impure Intellectual Pleasure and the Phaedrus, Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy 21.1 (2016): 21–45.

Review of The Birth of Hedonism: The Cyrenaic Philosophers and Pleasure as a Way of Life, by Kurt Lampe (Princeton University Press). Polis 33.1 (2016): 205–9.

Review of The Pleasures of Reason in Plato, Aristotle, and the Hellenistic Hedonists, by James Warren (Cambridge University Press). The Classical Review 66.1 (2016): 60–2.

“Augustine’s Defense and Redemption of the Body.” Studia Patristica LXX (Peeters, 2013): 529–37. Also translated by José Anoz into Spanish as “Defense y vindicación agustinianas del cuerpo,” Augustinus LX (2015): 5–14.

“Natural and Neutral States in Plato’s Philebus, Apeiron 44.2 (2011): 191–209.

“Pleasure,” in the Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece and Rome, ed. M. Gagarin et al. (Oxford University Press, 2009).


Excellence in Teaching Award, National Society for Leadership and Success, Duquesne Chapter, Spring 2017.

Duquesne Presidential Scholarship: grant to support revisions to book manuscript during summer 2016.

NEH Endowment Grant to host three-speaker symposium, “The Body and the Non-Rational in Ancient Greek Thought,” at Duquesne University, March 2013. Speakers: Emily Austin (Wake Forest), Cristina Ionescu (Catholic University of America), Rachel Singpurwalla (Maryland).

Andrew W. Mellon Foundation/American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) Dissertation Completion Fellowship, 2008–2009 (899 applicants for 65 awards).

George W. Woodruff Fellowship, Emory University, 2003–2008 (only 15 such awards in each entering class of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences).

United States Fulbright Grant, 2002–2003, Albert-Ludwigs Universität, Freiburg, Germany.