Welcome Dernga!

  • Hello and welcome to the forum Dernga !

    This 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. The Biography of Epicurus By Diogenes Laertius (Chapter 10). This includes all Epicurus' letters and the Authorized Doctrines. Supplement with the Vatican list of Sayings.
    2. "Epicurus And His Philosophy" - Norman DeWitt
    3. "On The Nature of Things"- Lucretius
    4. Cicero's "On Ends" - Torquatus Section
    5. Cicero's "On The Nature of the Gods" - Velleius Section
    6. The Inscription of Diogenes of Oinoanda - Martin Ferguson Smith translation
    7. A Few Days In Athens" - Frances Wright
    8. Lucian Core Texts on Epicurus: (1) Alexander the Oracle-Monger, (2) Hermotimus
    9. Plato's Philebus
    10. Philodemus "On Methods of Inference" (De Lacy version, including his appendix on relationship of Epicurean canon to Aristotle and other Greeks)
    11. "The Greeks on Pleasure" -Gosling & Taylor Sections on Epicurus, especially on katastematic and kinetic pleasure.

    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.

    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.

    Welcome to the forum!



  • Hello and thank you for the warm welcome and wealth of information! I am a Business Intelligence Analyst living in the United States. I enjoy studying philosophy and science in my free time, and Epicureanism has recently caught my interest.

    Most of my current knowledge of Epicureanism has come from online research combined with Catherine Wilson's Epicureanism: A Very Short Introduction. I am currently reading her book How to Be an Epicurean: The Ancient Art of Living Well. I realize that I have much more reading ahead of me to get a fuller understanding of the philosophy. The book list you provided will be an excellent place to start.

    I found your forums while looking for Epicurean podcasts and groups. I have been listening to your podcast Lucretius Today as well as following your Epicurean Philosophy group on facebook. Both have helped greatly in getting a better understanding of Epicureanism.

    As far as particular areas of interest go, I am mostly curious about what the application of Epicurean philosophy looks like in the modern day-to-day world. Catherine Wilson's book has definitely helped in this regard. It is something that will become clearer to me as I continue my reading and research.

    Thank you again for your warm welcome, wealth of information, and book recommendations. I look forward to future forum discussions!

  • Thank you for that excellent post Dernga! I can be somewhat critical of Catherine Wilson's incorporation of her political views into some of her writing, but I agree with you because even in my view - she is 500% better than most other contemporary writers.

    If you have looked around you will have seen how much I promote the Norman DeWitt book. If / when you get a chance to read that you will see why, and how his approach will bolster your respect for what you appreciate in Wilson's approach. I cannot recommend that highly enough and if there is one thing I would urge you to check out first, that is it.

    And thank you for listening to the podcasts! Please let us know your comments on any and all of what you see or hear here.

    Welcome aboard!