Norman DeWitt: "Epicurus And His Philosophy"

  • If you wanted to get an unbiased view of Obama would you ask a Republican? If you wanted an unbiased view of Trump would you ask a Democrat? If you are studying Epicurus, you don't want to make a similar mistake. Epicurus has been reviled for 2000 years by leaders of Judaism, Christianity, and Academia alike, and Epicurean philosophy is more explosive to professional religionists and conventional philosophers than a capitalist is to a communist. In the English-speaking world there has been one classical authority who devoted his professional career to reconstructing a picture of Epicurean philosophy as it was likely taught by Epicurus himself. That man was Norman Dewitt, his book was "Epicurus and His Philosophy." If you are an English-only reader who has formed your opinion of Epicurus without reading that book, then you are no better off than a jury on a criminal case which has heard only the prosecution and nothing from the defendant.


    Find Norman DeWitt's book at your local library or online, and make sure you have both sides of the story of Epicurus And His Philosophy. In the meantime, the introductory essay which DeWitt wrote seven years before "Epicurus And His Philosophy" can be found here: http://newepicurean.com/philos…picurus-by-norman-dewitt/



  • Started it today and am 30 pages in. Really well written and incredibly informative. I’ll post any questions as I have them.

  • Please do Brett - that would be EXTREMELY helpful. We have never really gone through the book systematically, even on the Facebook forum, and if anyone is reading it now and would like to post questions or comments in this thread that would be very helpful!

  • If we end up doing a "book club" styled analysis, we can make one thread per chapter, and then put all those threads in a subfolder for the book.

  • Would be very informative for the novices among us (me me me) and could provide ample fodder for more conversations. Perhaps first run through could codify a study guide of sorts for future groups/individuals working through the text.

  • Makes me wonder if a ‘book club’ with Skype chats would appeal to anyone? It would interest me.

    Excellent suggestion! Is anyone aware of any chat software that can do on the fly transcription? I'd like to see if we could get a recording or "minutes" of any chat in order to publish the fruits of that labor. DeWitt lays so much groundwork that gets ignored by the masses because of inaccessibility of the text.

  • Yes I agree. Different people are going to read at different rates, so we'd have to figure out how to coordinate time if we were having voice/video chats. In the meantime, when you start posting comments if you can refer to the chapter, then I can break down the thread to track each chapter.


    We could conceivably schedule a Discord chat for this weekend to cover the first chapter and/or logical segment. Let me post and see if we can interest anyone - but heck we can do this just ourselves if needed.

  • I posted this at Facebook and will highlight it here too:

    We have been discussing doing more regular voice/text/video chatting, and Brett Wheat has suggested that we schedule something to review the first Chapter and/or segment (we'll have to decide what) of Epicurus and His Philosophy, probably this weekend. If you would be available for a chat probably at the Discord server please post here and let us know any time/day considerations. Otherwise Mr. Wheat and I will probably just appear in the server at the appointed time and discuss Chapter 1!