Welcome Pacatus!

  • Welcome Pacatus !

    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. "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.

    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!



  • As best as I can recall, my introduction to Epicurus was DeWitt’s book, picked up randomly (or perhaps intuitively) from a library bookshelf. Next was Avraam Koen’s Atoms, Pleasure, Virtue: The Philosophy of Epicurus. I have since read others, including Catherine Wilson and Hiram Crespo; I have Cassius Amicus Elemental Epicureanism, which I am just beginning to delve into.

    I just consider myself an explorer. [I have also read (strictly as an interested layperson) in Stoicism and Pyrrhonism. And some Wittgenstein.] I keep coming back to Epicurus both because of its “sensibleness” (double meaning intended) and its ability, thus far, to bring me back from turmoil to both pleasantness and calm.

    I am an introvert who values a few friends. I do not take introversion as a problem: just a natural part of who I am—the same with my ADHD, which has benefits as well as constraints (I reject the “disorder” of that final “D”). I handle solitude well, but am not hermit. I am not a “joiner” by nature, and dislike anything that smacks of puritanism—in the sense of condemning further inquiry. I dislike strident argumentativeness.

    The best model of a nurturing group environment that I have experienced was in 12-Step meetings, where direct cross-talk and criticism were discouraged—but where people shared often divergent viewpoints from their own experience, with an intimacy born of being in a safe environment. Lessons thus learned were indirect, rather than direct. More direct learning came from a sponsor, whom was freely chosen. It was a mutually nurturing friendship among people who might seldom meet outside that context.

    I do not know if I “belong” here. But it seems a good place to continue exploring.

    To borrow a phrase from Hemingway, I tend to see the Garden as “a moveable feast.”

  • Welcome!

    I have Cassius Amicus Elemental Epicureanism, which I am just beginning to delve into.

    You will find that the material on this forum is much more up-to-date than that old work of mine, so I hope you will look around here and engage in the discussion -- I think you will find that much more productive!

  • Yes, these "old style" forums have long been replaced by Facebook and similar, but they remain powerful for just that reason - you end up building essentially a detailed hypertext database of information that is very hard to duplicate otherwise. Setting up a wiki is one thing but getting people to use it is something else, and this achieves a similar result.