Questions for Emily Austin - "Living for Pleasure" Zoom Meeting June 4

  • Let's use this thread to accumulate questions for Emily Austin. Everyone can post their questions here in this thread, and then as we go along we will update this post with the best questions and use it as a guide at the meeting.


    List of Questions (to be updated)

    1 - If you were writing the book over again today, would you change anything?

    2 - What plans do you have for future writing on Epicurus?

  • Cassius

    Changed the title of the thread from “"Living for Pleasure" Book Study Group - Starting April 30th - Via Zoom” to “Questions for Emily Austin - "Living for Pleasure" Zoom Meeting June 4”.
  • Professor Austin, how did you yourself come to Epicureanism – both as a subject for your scholarship, and for your personal life?

    (I know you fleshed this out a bit in the final chapter of your book.)

  • Do you think that Epicureanism is enjoying a resurgence of interest, as a scholarly topic, especially among women – such as yourself, Catherine Wilson and Pamela Gordon? If so (in your opinion), why?

  • Possible questions for Emily:

    Now that you have written the book and also been interviewed a number of times...

    ---Do you have thoughts on how to bridge the gap between people who like to "philosophize" and those who are more into "self-help"?

    ---Will Epicureanism be forever deemed as somehow "esoteric" and beyond the ability or interest of many people?

    ---Do you see dangers in the possible development of a "pop-culture Epicureanism"?

    ---Any further thoughts on the parts of Epicurean philosophy which seem to be understood with divergent interpretations...for example "ataraxia" or the meaning of "pleasure"?

  • As Kalosyni and others have noted, we interviewed Emily Austin earlier in Podcasts 156 and 157, so we don't want a straight repeat of what we've already discussed with her before. I'm thinking that the intervening months since then have opened up lots of room for follow-up thought on interviews and responses she has received since then, so let's think about that angle as part of thinking up questions so we can make the most of our time with her.

  • Here is my first question: Dr. Austin, I bought "The Epicurus Reader: Selected Writings and Testimonia (Hackett Classics)" by Epicurus, Brad Inwood, Lloyd P. Gerson because you recommend it in your book. Can you say something about why you recommend this particular collection of primary sources?

  • What other schools of philosophy are close to your heart? Which schools you find worth studying in detail?