EpicureanFriends.com: The Online Epicurean Philosophy User Group

Announcements

  • Cassius

    Our front page here contains an "Active Threads" list. One goal I have is to see less of my smiling face in that list of thread-starters, and more icons of other people! :-) One of the best things you can do to help the forum is to start threads on any topics of relevance to the board that come to your mind. When you have a chance take a glance at the list of forums and post on a detailed topic, or just start with whatever you like and post it in General Discussion Forum - Welcome! - we can move it to a subforum later. Thanks!

  • Cassius

    Episode 38 of the Lucretius Today podcast is now available: Episode Thirty-Eight: Start of Book Three - Epicurus Our Guide Who Dispels The Darkness of Error and Fear of Hell I think you will find this is one of our better episodes, and as it more general than many, it is a great place to start listening if you've missed prior episodes or are just new to the podcast.

  • Cassius

  • Cassius

    It's been reported that the board may say that it is sending new users an email with a registration code, but that the email is not sent. If anyone has any registration issues please email Cassius@epicureanfriends.com and we will get it straightened out - but as far as I understand the system, no registration code is necessary.

  • Cassius

    Due to recent interest we are reworking the group of forums devoted to historical Epicureans, as per Request For Suggestions For Entries in This "Epicurean Figures of the Past" Forum . Please check out the existing list of subforums, and if you have suggestions for figures who should have their own sections (especially figures who ived prior to the end of the Ancient World) please let us know.

  • Cassius

    Episode 36 of the Lucretius Today Podcast is now available: Episode Thirty-Six - No Single Thing of A Kind: Earth Not The Only Home of Life

  • Cassius

    Episode 35 of the Lucretius Today Podcast is now available: Episode Thirty-Five - More Reasons Why The Atoms Cannot Possess The Faculty of Sense

  • Cassius

    Episode 34 of the Lucretius Today Podcast is now available: Episode Thirty-Four - The Atoms Do Not Possess A Faculty of Sensation

  • Cassius

    Episode 33 of the Lucretius Today Podcast is Now Available: Episode Thirty-Three - More on The Implications of the Colorless Atoms

  • Cassius

    Episode 32 of the Lucretius Today Podcast Is Now Available: Episode Thirty-Two: The Atoms Are Colorless, But the Implications Are Not

  • Cassius

    Episode Two of Joshua's EpicureaPoetica is now live! Check it out here: EpicureaPoetica---Episode 2

  • Cassius

    Happy Twentieth of August!

  • Cassius

  • Cassius

    Great line of the day: "For not only do I prefer the Epicureans, despised and rejected men, to the custodians of what is virtuous, but I also prove that the aforementioned followers of wisdom have followed not virtue but the shadow of virtue, not honor but vanity, not duty but vice, not wisdom but folly; for they would have done better had they worked for the cause of pleasure, if they did not indeed do so." On Pleasure / On The True and The False Good - Lorenzo Valla

  • Cassius

    Updated the Michele Pinto / Andrea Celidoni video with a picture of Andrea and a few other minor improvements: New Music Created by Michele Pinto and Andrea Celidoni - Free As Epicurus - The Epicurus Rap!

  • Cassius

    Episode 31 of the Lucretius Today Podcast is Now Available: Episode Thirty-One - Continuation of Episode Thirty / Polyaenus

  • Cassius

  • Cassius

    Episode 30 of the Lucretius Today Podcast Is now available: Episode Thirty - Only A Limited Number of Combinations of Atoms Is Possible

  • Cassius

    New video from Eoghan responding to the Stoic view that virtue is its own reward: Hey guys I created new video against the Stoic idea that virtue is goal of life. Hope you enjoy Wow lots of good media work being done lately by Joshua and Eoghan -- thank you!

  • Cassius

    Joshua has released the first episode of his "Epicurean Poetica." It's very well done - check it out here: EpicureaPoetica—Epicurean Themes in Poetry [Video Project]

Welcome to our Online Community of Epicureans, where we study Epicurus, apply Epicurean philosophy to our own lives, and"strike a blow for Epicurus, that great man whose holiness and divinity of nature were not shams, who alone had and imparted true insight into the good, and who brought deliverance to all that consorted with him." All are welcome to read and ask questions, but only firm friends of Epicurean Philosophy in accord with our Not Neo-Epicurean, But Epicurean statement and our Posting Policy statement are granted full posting privileges, so here you will find a truly supportive community of Epicurean Friends.

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New Users: Please scroll to the bottom of the page for introductory material.

Recent Activities

  • Don

    Replied to the thread Is [X] a waste of time?.
    Post
    Good points, Cassius . It seems you took the internal perspective and I took the external perspective in our posts :) Both can be valuable. I see you saying that we are the only judge of our pleasure; I'm saying we need not be bound to external cultural…
  • Cassius

    Replied to the thread Is [X] a waste of time?.
    Post
    So in terms of Joshua's precise question this is where I see the heart of it:

    (Quote from JJElbert)


    Only Joshua can answer that for himself, but if in fact it was or is attainable for Joshua to achieve some of those other goals, and if in fact Joshua…
  • Cassius

    Replied to the thread Is [X] a waste of time?.
    Post
    OK I apologize for being slow, because I think we need to discuss THIS aspect, as possibly the most important aspect of all -- or at least the most urgent for us to consider:

    Is it possible to "waste time" pursuing something that is a pleasure, or is…
  • Don

    Replied to the thread Is [X] a waste of time?.
    Post
    Consider this: Those railing against some people "wasting their time" get pleasure from the sense of superiority they feel by telling people they're wasting their time.
    However, I would also venture to say that that pleasure taken from feeling superior…
  • Cassius

    Replied to the thread Is [X] a waste of time?.
    Post
    I Would pick out this passage as well stated:

    (Quote)



    However I kept looking for a deeper exploration of what "waste of time" even means, and it wasn't deep enough for my liking. I think once you try to elaborate on the meaning of that term and…

Active Threads

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    1. Is [X] a waste of time? 15

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    3. Don

    1. Episode Thirty-Nine: The Mind And Spirit Are Not Supernatural But Parts of A Man Just Like The Head and Foot [Pre-Production]

      • Cassius
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    1. Episode Thirty-Eight: Start of Book Three - Epicurus Our Guide Who Dispels The Darkness of Error and Fear of Hell 4

      • Cassius
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    3. Cassius

    1. Request For Suggestions For Entries in This "Epicurean Figures of the Past" Forum 6

      • Cassius
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    3. Cassius

    1. Welcome Susan Hill! 11

      • Cassius
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    3. Martin

    1. David Sedley: "Epicurus On Dialectic" (With Lots of Discussion of the "Bat Riddle")

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    1. Technology and Censorship Thread 4

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    3. Cassius

    1. Episode Thirty-Seven: End of Book Two - The Earth Too Was Born, and It Will One Day Die 1

      • Cassius
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    3. Cassius

    1. About This Subforum Twentieth Commemorations Subforum 4

      • Cassius
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    3. A_Gardner

    1. For New Users - A General Comment About Posting At EpicureanFriends 1

      • Cassius
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    3. Cassius

    1. What Evidence Do We Have That Frances Wright Personally Was An Epicurean? 10

      • Cassius
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    3. Cassius

    1. Philonides of Laodicea (NewEpicurean blog post)

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    1. Caesar the Epicurean 2

      • Cassius
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    3. Cassius

    1. Cornelius Nepos' "Life of Atticus"

      • Cassius
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    1. Phaedrus - General Info

      • Cassius
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    1. Plotina and Hadrian 3

      • JJElbert
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    3. Cassius

    1. George Carlin - You have no rights -- reactions? 47

      • Hiram
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    3. Cassius

    1. Episode Thirty-Six - No Single Thing of A Kind: Earth Not The Only Home of Life 1

      • Cassius
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    3. Cassius

    1. The Meaning of The Second of the Three Virtue Adverbs In PD5 - "Honorably?" 6

      • Cassius
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    3. JJElbert

    1. Comment at the Epicurean Philosophy Facebook Group On Pleasure As The Highest Good 23

      • Cassius
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    3. Cassius

    1. Cultivating our own garden [Voltaire Discussion] 5

      • camotero
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    3. Cassius

    1. Pleasure over truth 15

      • camotero
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    3. Cassius

    1. Episode Thirty-Five - More Reasons Why The Atoms Cannot Possess The Faculty of Sense 2

      • Cassius
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    3. Don

    1. On "Desires" And Their Relationship To Pleasure 30

      • Godfrey
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    3. Cassius

    1. Post At Modern Epicurean Blog - "Epicurean Ethics Considered And Defended" 7

      • Cassius
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    3. Don

Most Discussed Threads

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    1. Discussion of the Society of Epicurus' 20 Tenets of 12/21/19 173

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    3. Mike Anyayahan

    1. Glossary - What is the Epicurean Definition of "Pleasure?" 125

      • Cassius
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    3. Hiram

    1. The Neglect of Metrodorus’ Economics 81

      • Hiram
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    3. elli

    1. The Notre Dame Fire 78

      • Cassius
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    3. JJElbert

    1. Epicureans and the Ancient Greek Gods (Imagery of "Gods" / "Gods Among Men") 70

      • Matt
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    3. Cassius

    1. References to Epicurus' Attitude Toward The "Place of the Sciences And Liberal Arts" 63

      • Cassius
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    3. Cassius

    1. Nate's "Allegory of the Oasis" Graphic 63

      • Cassius
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    3. Cassius

    1. Dead Reddit / The "Isms" Thread 62

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    3. Elayne

    1. Epicurus, gods and God 57

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    3. Cassius

    1. Discussion of Article: "On Pleasure, Pain and Happiness" 53

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    3. Cassius

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Featured Articles

    Haris Dimitriadis is author of “The Pleasant Life – The Philosophy of Epicurus.” Born in Greece, Haris studied Mathematics at the Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki as well as Economics at the London School of Economics. His career spanned the business and banking industries and has settled into retirement. Through climbing the corporate ladder he found it brought little peace of mind and turned his attention to the philosophy of Epicurus. Haris can be contacted through his

    Read More

    As much as Epicurus advised against devoting life to politics, it appears that the politicians cannot return the favor and leave Epicurus alone. On both left and right, partisans of every cause except that of Epicurus himself feel compelled to enlist Epicurus as a saint or a demon, for or against their own preferred political position. The result can leave us feeling like Tennyson's Charge of the Light Brigade, facing volleys not of cannons but of false accusations against Epicurus

    Read More


    From Diogenes Laertius, Book 10 (The Biography of Epicurus), we read something that may lead us again to revisit the matter of the apparent chronic ill health of Epicurus, and how the great philosopher confronted and dealt with serious bodily health issues.


    Here is the excerpt by Diogenes Laertius: “Timocrates, the brother of Metrodorus, in his treatise entitled the Merry Guests, and this Timocrates had been a disciple in his school, though he afterwards abandoned it; and he says that he

    Read More

    Inspired by the considerations on the Epicurean friendship of Phillp Mithis in the book "The Ethical Theory of Epicurus - The pleasures of Invulnerability," I want to summarize the thought of Epicurus on friendship, trying to use his own words as much as possible, and adding mine where necessary. I am indebted to Carlo Diano because his thematic collection of Epicurus's maxims was essential. The first Epicurean festival, whose general theme was about friendship, was also very useful.

    Read More

    The following is a short summary of principles which are important for understanding Epicurus and participating in discussion at the Epicurean Philosophy Facebook Group. It is not intended to address all aspects of Epicurean philosophy. As time allows we will supplement the citations below with more citations and explanatory articles.


    1. Not “flourishing,” “human potential,” “self-actualization,” or “meaningfulness,” but happiness grounded in the feeling of pleasure.


    2. Not

    Read More

    Not "absence of pain" as a full statement of the goal of life, but “the Feelings are two, pleasure and pain” and “Pleasure is the beginning and the end of a happy life.”


    Brief: The feelings are only two, pleasure and pain—there is no third state such as neutral, and there are no “fancy pleasures” which are different from regular pleasures. Because there is no neutral, reducing pain in life is only possible if there is a corresponding increase in pleasure. The extent

    Read More

    PREFACE 1.

    We often confuse the issue of the possibility of free will exercising with the issue of its existence. When we are unable to exercise it we say with sloppiness that it does not exist. This "I want but I can’t or I don’t want but I am forced" puts into testing our individual self-esteem. But any coercion and enforcement exists precisely because there is free will and some of the people have the power to exercise it, usually at the expense of the others.


    We have extreme

    Read More

Featured Documents

New User Orientation



This is the place to study and discuss Epicurus with people who - can you believe it? - aren't just Stoics in disguise, but who actually support and promote Epicurean philosophy. On your first visit, check out this full home page, including the Not Neo-Epicurean, But Epicurean and our Posting Policy statements. Look around the Forums arranged by Topic. A good place to sample the latest conversations is by clicking Latest Threads, or simply start with our General Forum. After that, bookmark the Dashboard, so that when you come back you'll see all the latest postings and announcements. Other key links are the FAQ where we have answers to often-asked questions, and our Wiki, which features one of the best collections of Lucretius and other Epicurean texts that you'll find anywhere. Don't miss the forum devoted to reviews of modern books, articles, and video-multimedia devoted to Epicurus. Do you prefer a page theme that is lighter, darker, or a different color? Go to the bottom right and click "Change Style!" Thanks for dropping by and enjoy your stay - here our highest goal is Pleasure!


Also, we are continuing our on-line group discussions of Norman DeWitt's Epicurus and His Philosophy. Please check the announcements at the top of this page for confirmation of the time and date of the next session. Discussion outlines are posted here.


Please note our other ongoing projects: For our latest translations and research into the Doctrines, Sayings, and Letters of Epicurus, check our wiki.


There is also a great need for an authoritative online free edition of Lucretius' On The Nature of Things. At our Wiki page, we have two public domain versions (Munro and Bailey) and we are currently working on adding the 1743 Daniel Browne edition, which has the Latin text on the facing page of the original. In order to allow the reader to crosscheck the English translation, we are cross-referencing each translation the equivalent passage in the Latin text. If you have time to help in either of these projects, please let us know by posting in the appropriate forum thread. Our latest project is www.EpicureanRadio.com, a streaming service that we hope to expand into a full "Epicurean Radio Station." Check it out in the new subforum devoted to it!


If you have come across Epicurean philosophy in the past but been confused by commentators who assert - incorrectly - that Epicurus advocated an ascetic or passive lifestyle, you'll want to check out our table of Major Issues In Understanding Epicurean Philosophy. We're glad to help with your study of Epicurus - just ask in the forums! In the meantime, here is the advice of Thomas Jefferson on living an active Epicurean life:


"I take the liberty of observing that you are not a true disciple of our master Epicurus in indulging the indolence to which you say you are yielding. One of his canons, you know, was that “that indulgence which prevents a greater pleasure, or produces a greater pain, is to be avoided.” Your love of repose will lead, in its progress, to a suspension of healthy exercise, a relaxation of mind, an indifference to everything around you, and finally to a debility of body, and hebetude of mind, the farthest of all things from the happiness which the well-regulated indulgences of Epicurus ensure; fortitude, you know is one of his four cardinal virtues. That teaches us to meet and surmount difficulties; not to fly from them, like cowards; and to fly, too, in vain, for they will meet and arrest us at every turn of our road. Weigh this matter well; brace yourself up." - Thomas Jefferson to William Short, October 31, 1819.


A Feature of Our Forum - Follow The Advice Of Epicurus: Outline Your Understanding Of Philosophy


Epicurus' Letter to Herodotus: "Those who have made some advance in the survey of the entire system ought to fix in their minds under the principal headings an elementary outline of the whole treatment of the subject. For a comprehensive view is often required, the details but seldom. ... For it is impossible to gather up the results of continuous diligent study of the entirety of things unless we can embrace in short formulas and hold in mind all that might have been accurately expressed even to the minutest detail."


Thomas Jefferson wrote in a private letter "I too am an Epicurean" and drafted his own outline of Epicurean philosophy.  If you'd like to see what Jefferson wrote, and  get help in drafting your own, click here.


We hope you will consider signing up for an account so you can participate fully here at the forum. For a brief introduction to the orientation of this website, please review our Community Standards / Terms of Use , and check out our brief video Major Characteristics of Epicurean Philosophy.



A Note On Why This Website Is Not "Stoic In Disguise" -  

Many people who come here have been influenced by the alleged importance of a distinction between "kinetic" and "katastematic" pleasure. This argument is unsound, probably not of Epicurean origin at all, and can be very damaging to a proper understanding of Epicurus. To research this issue, start with Boris Nikolsky's "Epicurus on Pleasure," which argues that the katastematic issue was not introduced by Epicurus and reflects a later Stoic-influenced viewpoint. Next, read the chapters on Epicurus in Gosling and Taylor's "The Greeks on Pleasure," from which Nikolsky got the inspiration for his article. The whole section on Epicurus is good, but be sure to read their Chapter 19 "Katastematic and Kinetic Pleasure." Add to that the Wentham article "Cicero's Interpretation of Katastematic Pleasure," which highlights how emphasis on katastematic pleasure contradicts other core aspects of Epicurean philosophy.


Those shorter articles should then take you back to the best general book on Epicurus, Norman DeWitt's "Epicurus and His Philosophy."  DeWitt provides a sweeping overview of Epicurus which hardly mentions the katastematic - kinetic distinction except to point out how - even if one considers the categories relevant - Epicurean philosophy embraces both types. If you don't read anything else at this website, check out the articles listed above, and you'll see how important this issue is to a proper understanding of Epicurean philosophy. And if you are brand new to the study of Epicurus, be sure to start your study with DeWitt's "Epicurus and His Philsosophy."

Foundations of Epicurean Philosophy