Welcome Cleveland Oakie!

  • Thank you, Josh, and thank you everyone! That was quite a lesson, as Cassius says, and I will keep the recommendation in mind for the book about Alexandria.

  • I believe that DL mentions that Epicurus was an admirer of Pyrrho.


    Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Eminent Philosophers, BOOK IX, Chapter 11. PYRRHO (c. 360-270 b.c.)


    In debate he was looked down upon by no one, for he could both discourse at length and also sustain a cross-examination, so that even Nausiphanes when a young man was captivated by him : at all events he used to say that we should follow Pyrrho in disposition but himself in doctrine ; and he would often remark that Epicurus, greatly admiring Pyrrho's way of life, regularly asked him for information about Pyrrho ; and that he was so respected by his native city that they made him high priest, and on his account they voted that all philosophers should be exempt from taxation.


    Pyrrho (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)


    Pyrrho’s Influence

    Pyrrho’s relation to the later Pyrrhonists has already been discussed. Given the importance of Pyrrhonism in earlier modern philosophy, Pyrrho’s indirect influence may be thought of as very considerable. But beyond his being adopted as a figurehead in later Pyrrhonism—itself never a widespread philosophical movement — Pyrrho seems to have had very little impact in the ancient world after his own lifetime. Both Cicero and Seneca refer to Pyrrho as a neglected figure without a following, and the surviving testimonia do not contradict this impression. It is possible that he had some influence on the form of scepticism adopted by Arcesilaus and other members of the Academy; the extent to which this is so is disputed and difficult to assess. It is also possible that the Epicureans, whose aim was also ataraxia, learned something from Pyrrho; there are indications of an association between Pyrrho and Nausiphanes, the teacher of Epicurus. But if so, the extent of the Epicureans’ borrowing was strictly limited. For them, ataraxia is to be attained by coming to understand that the universe consists of atoms and void; and the Epicureans’ attitude towards the senses was anything but one of mistrust.

  • I have just finished "How to Be an Epicurean: The Ancient Art of Living Well" by Catherine Wilson. Here is what I just posted on the Goodreads website (if anyone is interested, I am "Tomj"):


    "The book has weaknesses, but I really enjoyed it. The chapters on applying Epicureanism to daily life, and how to think about interpersonal relations and death, are very good. I also liked the chapter comparing Epicureanism to Stoicism. Catherine Wilson is less convincing when she insists that Epicureanism dictates her preferences on contemporary political issues, and that's what keeps me from awarding five stars. But I read this as a library book, and I now plan to buy the Kindle so I will have this in my library."


    I would add for the benefit of this website that as far as anachronistically claiming Epicurus as an ally for modern political stances, Norman DeWitt seems more convincing to me in linking Epicurus to classical liberalism. It seems to me that Epicurus' advice to avoid politics and "live unnoticed" seems closer to DeWitt's political stances that Wilson urging that we all become political activists.


    Still, I have been looking for a book that applies Epicureanism to day to day living and life choices, and for the most part, Wilson seems sound to me.


    If anyone wants to recommend what I should read next, I will listen! I am leaning toward "On the Nature of Things."