Welcome Thinking Cat!

  • Welcome ThinkingCat !

    There is one last step to complete your registration:

    All new registrants must post a response to this message here in this welcome thread (we do this in order to minimize spam registrations).

    You must post your response within 72 hours, or your account will be subject to deletion. All that is required is a "Hello!" but of course we hope you will introduce yourself -- tell us a little about yourself and what prompted your interest in Epicureanism -- and/or post a question.

    This forum is the place for students of Epicurus to coordinate their studies and work together to promote the philosophy of Epicurus. Please remember that all posting here is subject to our Community Standards / Rules of the Forum our Not Neo-Epicurean, But Epicurean and our Posting Policy statements and associated posts.

    Please understand that the leaders of this forum are well aware that many fans of Epicurus may have sincerely-held views of what Epicurus taught that are incompatible with the purposes and standards of this forum. This forum is dedicated exclusively to the study and support of people who are committed to classical Epicurean views. As a result, this forum is not for people who seek to mix and match some Epicurean views with positions that are inherently inconsistent with the core teachings of Epicurus.

    All of us who are here have arrived at our respect for Epicurus after long journeys through other philosophies, and we do not demand of others what we were not able to do ourselves. Epicurean philosophy is very different from other viewpoints, and it takes time to understand how deep those differences really are. That's why we have membership levels here at the forum which allow for new participants to discuss and develop their own learning, but it's also why we have standards that will lead in some cases to arguments being limited, and even participants being removed, when the purposes of the community require it. Epicurean philosophy is not inherently democratic, or committed to unlimited free speech, or devoted to any other form of organization other than the pursuit by our community of happy living through the principles of Epicurean philosophy.

    One way you can be most assured of your time here being productive is to tell us a little about yourself and personal your background in reading Epicurean texts. It would also be helpful if you could tell us how you found this forum, and any particular areas of interest that you have which would help us make sure that your questions and thoughts are addressed.

    In that regard we have found over the years that there are a number of key texts and references which most all serious students of Epicurus will want to read and evaluate for themselves. Those include the following.

    1. "Epicurus and His Philosophy" by Norman DeWitt
    2. The Biography of Epicurus by Diogenes Laertius. This includes the surviving letters of Epicurus, including those to Herodotus, Pythocles, and Menoeceus.
    3. "On The Nature of Things" - by Lucretius (a poetic abridgement of Epicurus' "On Nature"
    4. "Epicurus on Pleasure" - By Boris Nikolsky
    5. The chapters on Epicurus in Gosling and Taylor's "The Greeks On Pleasure."
    6. Cicero's "On Ends" - Torquatus Section
    7. Cicero's "On The Nature of the Gods" - Velleius Section
    8. The Inscription of Diogenes of Oinoanda - Martin Ferguson Smith translation
    9. A Few Days In Athens" - Frances Wright
    10. Lucian Core Texts on Epicurus: (1) Alexander the Oracle-Monger, (2) Hermotimus
    11. Philodemus "On Methods of Inference" (De Lacy version, including his appendix on relationship of Epicurean canon to Aristotle and other Greeks)
    12. "The Greeks on Pleasure" -Gosling & Taylor Sections on Epicurus, especially the section on katastematic and kinetic pleasure which explains why ultimately this distinction was not of great significance to Epicurus.

    It is by no means essential or required that you have read these texts before participating in the forum, but your understanding of Epicurus will be much enhanced the more of these you have read. Feel free to join in on one or more of our conversation threads under various topics found throughout the forum, where you can to ask questions or to add in any of your insights as you study the Epicurean philosophy.

    And time has also indicated to us that if you can find the time to read one book which will best explain classical Epicurean philosophy, as opposed to most modern "eclectic" interpretations of Epicurus, that book is Norman DeWitt's Epicurus And His Philosophy.

    (If you have any questions regarding the usage of the forum or finding info, please post any questions in this thread).

    Welcome to the forum!




  • ThinkingCat -- Welcome to the forum -- Your recent post in another thread will count toward your completion of registration (as explained in this thread above) -- and just for reference I'm posting the link to your question here.

    And, if you happen to have anything to share to further introduce yourself such as how you became interested in Epicureanism, you are welcome to post it here in this thread, thanks. :)

  • Hi Kalosyni

    Thanks for the welcome. So I have never really been that involved in philosophy. I joined an online debating group that were based in Thailand, probably now debating in real life again ( this was during covid) but I found it so difficult to keep up with what was being discussed.

    Somehow, I’ve stumbled across Epicurus on the internet - I came across him on the YouTube channel Einzelganger but the channel also covers other philosophers. So yes, I guess at some point I started reading more around Epicurus and wanted to be able to talk with others who are interested in him and some of his ideas. Not sure I’d ever call myself an Epicurean but I’m currently starting to adopt some of the ideas and interested in applying these in our century and modern way of life.

  • Martin - no, I just visit there every year. Have friends there and in the future want to retire there. Chiang Mai and other places in the north are my hangouts!

    Cassius - thanks for the clarification. I have been reading around and I found this (from Wikipedia - yes I know!) “Epicurus taught that although the gods exist, they have no involvement in human affairs.

    Would that be accurate? Do you know why he believed in any gods at all? I am an atheist btw

  • Also thank you so much for the reading list. That is fantastic. I will definitely be studying, life being busy it will take me some time but this is a really great place to start. Very glad I signed up to the forums

  • Would that be accurate? Do you know why he believed in any gods at all? I am an atheist btw

    Yes that statement is accurate with a caveat as to "the gods." Epicurus' working definition of "gods" does not include being supernatural, being omniscient, being omipresent, being omnipotent, or most any of the other attributes that monotheism has taught us to believe.

    It's better to say that Epicurus held that "gods" exist, by which he means beings which are deathless and who live in perfect happiness without pain, in the "intermundia" -- the space between the "worlds" - which has no contact with us here on earth.

    As to why he believes in this type of god at all, the best reference for that is in Cicero's "On the nature of the gods." The answer seems tied to anticipations / prolepsis, but the sources are not clear. Per the same text there is probably also linkage to the fact that Epicurus believed that life exists throughout the universe, and that it is "equitably distributed," and that nature never makes only a single thing of a kind. When you add those things together with believing that the universe is infinitely old and infinitely wide (boundless), then you have the implication that Epicurus believed that we can reason our way to believing that there are living beings throughout the universe, some of whom have reached this state of deathlessness and perfect happiness.

    Lots more we can add but this is a start!