A leading philosopher shows that if the pursuit of happiness is the question, Epicureanism is the answer
Epicureanism has a reputation problem, bringing to mind gluttons with gout or an admonition to eat, drink, and be merry. In How to Be an Epicurean, philosopher Catherine Wilson shows that Epicureanism isn't an excuse for having a good time: it's a means to live a good life. Although modern conveniences and scientific progress have significantly improved our quality of life, many of the problems faced by ancient Greeks -- love, money, family, politics -- remain with us in new forms. To overcome these obstacles, the Epicureans adopted a philosophy that promoted reason, respect for the natural world, and reverence for our fellow humans. By applying this ancient wisdom to a range of modern problems, from self-care routines and romantic entanglements to issues of public policy and social justice, Wilson shows us how we can all fill our lives with purpose and pleasure.
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A universe made only of
atoms and empty space? No life after death? Carefree gods
indifferent to mortals? Freedom from anxiety the highest good?
These were basic themes in ancient Epicureanism, and Catherine Wilson shows
eloquently how this ancient and most humane philosophy, when creatively
interpreted and applied, can help us to live well in the world today.
Even if this book does not make an Epicurean of you, it will teach you to
appreciate and admire Epicurus's wisdom and his relevance for our times.
David Konstan, professor of classics, New York University