Kelly Arenson

Assistant Professor and Graduate Placement Director
McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts

College Hall 322
Phone: 412.396.1288


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

Kelly Arenson works on the history of ancient ethics, particularly the development of the notion of pleasure in the Platonic Academy and in Epicureanism. Her other interests include moral psychology, philosophy of the body, and philosophy of science. Her first book, Health and Hedonism in Plato and Epicurus, is forthcoming in 2019. She is also currently editing the Routledge Handbook of Hellenistic Philosophy.

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. More information regarding the society can be found at:


Undergraduate: Ancient Philosophy, Philosophy of Science, Epistemology, Logic, Philosophical Ethics, Basic Philosophical Questions, Honors Basic Philosophical Questions.

Graduate: Epicurean Ethics; Plato on the Body and the Non-Rational; Virtue Ethics; courses on individual Platonic dialogues (particularly the Philebus, Timaeus, Phaedrus, and Republic), Ancient Hedonism and Anti-hedonism.


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

"Epicureans on Pity, Slavery, and Autonomy," forthcoming in the Proceedings of the Boston Area Colloquium in Ancient Philosophy.

"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, no. 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, no. 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, no. 1 (2016): 60-2.

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

"Natural and Neutral States in Plato's Philebus," Apeiron Vol. 44 No. 2 (2011): 191-209.

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

Grants and Awards

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.