Welcome ReneLiza!

  • Welcome reneliza ! Please Note: In order to minimize spam registrations, all new registrants must respond in this thread to this welcome message within 72 hours of its posting, or their accounts will be deleted. All that is required is a "Hello!" but of course we hope you will introduce yourselves further and join one or more of our conversations.

    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!



  • Hello!
    My background in Epicurean education is almost none. I'll share what background I do have with the note that this isn't an endorsement of any particular part of it.

    I knew of Epicureanism basically as the modern understanding: an appreciation for fine food and drink, but through the YouTube channel PhilosophyTube got a (very small) bit more understanding. PhilosophyTube did awake in me a greater interest in hedonism and I jokingly asked my husband if it was possible to be a hedonist and a stoic.

    Meanwhile, I started using cognitive techniques to improve my mental state and decided to look deeper into Stoicism. Although I do find great value in Stoic practices, it took only about 1/4 of a book on Seneca to determine that this guy Epicurus who he kept quoting (favorably yet still with great disdain??) seemed way more interesting to me.

    I found this site via the podcast, and I'm only about 3 episodes in, so I'm still VERY early in the learning process.

    Here, I mostly intend to listen and learn and hopefully ask some questions, and I greatly appreciate the reading list offered above because it has been tough for me to find good resources given that most primary sources have been lost to history and all modern focus in ancient philosophies seems to be on Stoicism. I'm grateful to have a place to learn more.

  • Welcome ReneLiza and thank you for that introduction! We have some very friendly and helpful people here who will be glad to answer anything you ask. And don't hesitate to ask anything no matter how basic you may think it might be. There's no better way for those of us who have been around for a while to test our own knowledge than to have an opportunity to explain things to someone new. So let us know however we can be of help.

  • Welcome reneliza ! Always glad to have new peeps join us! Much interesting stuff here, just have a look around! You will encounter very knowledgeable scholarly folks, and people more like me - just beginners, learning the basics. It is a most enjoyable philosophy to study. See you around!