Martha Nussbaum's "Therapy of Desire" is a widely known book with much commentary on the implications of Epicurean philosophy for psychology. These comments are not a review of the book and I do not intend them too be taken too negatively. However I think that a reader can more fairly assess the claims Nussbaum makes about Epicurean philosophy earlier in the book if the reader is aware of the ultimate negative conclusions she draws at the end. Here are several excerpts, mostly from the final chapters:
I am not sure how thoroughly I will be able to go through this tonight but Nussbaum seems to regularly describe herself as an Aristotelian (?)
"Here I side with the Socratics and Aristotelians..."
I do not agree that Epicurean philosophy slights development of critical thought, nor do I consider the Stoics to be superior in any way, or the Epicureans "authoritarian"
Nor do I agree that Epicurean philosophy subordinates truth and good reasoning to "therapeutic efficacy" (she presumably is referring to the goal of living pleasurably) nor would I consider the Stoics and Aristotelians superior in this department.
Certainly not a high assessment of Epicurus in this paragraph:
I reject this paragraph in totality:
Now I see why in the past so many Stoics I have run into like Nussbaum so much:
More anti-Epicurean assessment:
So Nussbaum considers Seneca "an advance of major proportions" over the Epicureans
I don't agree that Lucretius contradicts Epicurus, and I don't agree that Epicurus excluded marriage, sexual love, children, and political community