The Epicurus and Epicurean Philosophy Discussion Forum

Announcements

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 are granted full posting privileges, so here you will find a truly supportive community of Epicurean Friends.

Popular Links: New Content | Forum List | Unread Posts | General Discussion | Last 100 Threads | Dashboard | Image Gallery | Filebase | Articles | FAQ |Core Texts | Wiki | Community Standards

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

Recent Posts From Across EpicureanFriends.com

Recent Activities

  • Godfrey

    Replied to the thread Profile of Past Reading.
    Post
    Starting with Diogenes Laertius is a good way to get an overview, then reading DeWitt next would give an in-depth view. Then the two Ciceros; I might even read these before DeWitt.

    The first I ever heard of Epicurus was when I read Cicero's On The…
  • Cassius

    Replied to the thread Profile of Past Reading.
    Post
    I could see moving item 5 (the Inscription) up above the two excerpts from Cicero, except I think the excerpts from Cicero are probably more clearly written, and stand alone pretty well, and thus convey more important information quickly (especially on…
  • Cassius

    Replied to the thread Profile of Past Reading.
    Post
    Bingo Elayne -- fixing now! thanks
  • Elayne

    Replied to the thread Profile of Past Reading.
    Post
    Is #3 supposed to be On Ends?
  • Cassius

    Replied to the thread Profile of Past Reading.
    Post
    Let's let this thread roll for a while and see if there are comments that would lead to significant changes in the list or the order of presentation. I think if we are focusing on the original materials, then the list is pretty well set in stone as…

Recently Updated Threads

    1. Topic
    2. Replies
    3. Last Reply
    1. Profile of Past Reading 9

      • Cassius
    2. Replies
      9
      Views
      68
      9
    3. Godfrey

    1. Happy Twentieth of October, 2019: What Would A Local Epicurean Organization Look Like? 9

      • Cassius
    2. Replies
      9
      Views
      97
      9
    3. Elayne

    1. Pleasure vs Happiness (?) Discussion of Hiram's "In Defense of Eudaimonia" 35

      • Cassius
    2. Replies
      35
      Views
      333
      35
    3. Cassius

    1. Athens and the Open Library 3

      • JJElbert
    2. Replies
      3
      Views
      47
      3
    3. JJElbert

    1. What Do We Know About Caecilius Statius? 3

      • JJElbert
    2. Replies
      3
      Views
      37
      3
    3. Elayne

    1. Is Every Breach of Every Agreement "Unjust"? 28

      • Cassius
    2. Replies
      28
      Views
      274
      28
    3. Todd

    1. The (belated) Decline of Christianity in the United States 11

      • JJElbert
    2. Replies
      11
      Views
      66
      11
    3. Hiram

    1. New October 19, 2019, Video On The Status of Scroll Research From The Getty Museum 1

      • Cassius
    2. Replies
      1
      Views
      25
      1
    3. JJElbert

    1. American Friends of Herculaneum

      • Cassius
    2. Replies
      0
      Views
      24
    1. How are Epicurean things in Italy, Michele? 8

      • Cassius
    2. Replies
      8
      Views
      81
      8
    3. Cassius

    1. EpicureanFriends Site Glitches 10

      • Cassius
    2. Replies
      10
      Views
      258
      10
    3. Cassius

    1. October 15 Birthday of Lucretius and Virgil? 14

      • Cassius
    2. Replies
      14
      Views
      100
      14
    3. JJElbert

    1. I Am Firmly Convinced That The Future of Epicurean Philosophy Won't Be Found In The Ivory Tower 14

      • Cassius
    2. Replies
      14
      Views
      80
      14
    3. JJElbert

    1. Epicurus, gods and God 57

      • Godfrey
    2. Replies
      57
      Views
      537
      57
    3. Cassius

    1. ‪Interesting! #Epicurean interior design?! 8

      • Hiram
    2. Replies
      8
      Views
      312
      8
    3. Elayne

    1. Welcome Bob! 4

      • Cassius
    2. Replies
      4
      Views
      116
      4
    3. Bob

    1. Calculus, Minimalism, Consumerism, Finding the Path 15

      • Garden Dweller
    2. Replies
      15
      Views
      147
      15
    3. Cassius

    1. The "Daily" Lucretian 11

      • Cassius
    2. Replies
      11
      Views
      188
      11
    3. Cassius

    1. Welcome lcristia1!

      • Cassius
    2. Replies
      0
      Views
      35
    1. October 15 Birthday of Virgil, Date o Death of Lucretius, and Birthday of Friedrich Nietzsche (Tue, Oct 15th 2019, 11:00 am - 12:59 pm)

      • Cassius
    2. Replies
      0
      Views
      41

Most Discussed Threads At EpicureanFriends.com

    1. Topic
    2. Replies
    3. Last Reply
    1. The Notre Dame Fire 75

      • Cassius
    2. Replies
      75
      Views
      2.5k
      75
    3. Cassius

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

      • Matt
    2. Replies
      70
      Views
      2.9k
      70
    3. Cassius

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

      • Cassius
    2. Replies
      63
      Views
      5.5k
      63
    3. Cassius

    1. Epicurus, gods and God 57

      • Godfrey
    2. Replies
      57
      Views
      537
      57
    3. Cassius

    1. Discussion of Article: "On Pleasure, Pain and Happiness" 52

      • Elayne
    2. Replies
      52
      Views
      1.1k
      52
    3. Cassius

    1. Best Way to Introduce Teachings? 50

      • Daniel Van Orman
    2. Replies
      50
      Views
      1.6k
      50
    3. Cassius

    1. "Moral Darwinism: How We Became Hedonists." Review. 44

      • Daniel
    2. Replies
      44
      Views
      1.3k
      44
    3. Cassius

    1. What Would An Epicurean Use In Their Toolkit For Making Their Hedonic Calculus? 39

      • godek
    2. Replies
      39
      Views
      756
      39
    3. Cassius

    1. Dialogue on Katastematic Pleasure 38

      • Hiram
    2. Replies
      38
      Views
      4.7k
      38
    3. Cassius

    1. Technology Question - How Best To Create "Video" With Speech Matched To Scrolling Text 37

      • Cassius
    2. Replies
      37
      Views
      340
      37
    3. Cassius

Featured Images From Our EpicureanFriends Galleries

  • Our Posting Policy At EpicureanFriends.com - No Partisan Politics And No Supernatural Religion

    Our Posting Policy At EpicureanFriends.com - No Partisan Politics And No Supernatural Religion

    46
    0
    0
  • Not Neo-Epicurean, But Epicurean

    Not Neo-Epicurean, But Epicurean

    57
    0
    0
  • Autun mosaic from The House of the Greek Authors, Musée Rolin

    Autun mosaic from The House of the Greek Authors, Musée Rolin

    42
    0
    0
  • On Living Unknown While Locating Your School In A High Traffic Area

    On Living Unknown While Locating Your School In A High Traffic Area

    107
    0
    1
  • Epicurus Greece Stamp 2019

    Epicurus Greece Stamp 2019

    77
    0
    2
  • The Dark Ages Are Coming

    The Dark Ages Are Coming

    • Nate
    89
    0
    1
  • Death Is Nothing To Us

    Death Is Nothing To Us

    • Nate
    66
    0
    1
  • Plato's Metaphysical Contradiction

    Plato's Metaphysical Contradiction

    • Nate
    73
    0
    1
  • Epicurus Skipping Mysticism

    Epicurus Skipping Mysticism

    • Nate
    64
    0
    0
  • Plato's Distracted Boyfriend

    Plato's Distracted Boyfriend

    • Nate
    87
    1
    2
  • Concepts As Black As Hell

    Concepts As Black As Hell

    72
    0
    0
  • PD9 - Just As All Colors Are Colorful

    PD9 - Just As All Colors Are Colorful

    86
    0
    1

Featured Articles From the EpicureanFriends Blogs

    Political Division In The Promotion of Epicurean Philosophy: A Prescription For Disaster


    [Cassius: I write the following article clearly stating that it is my own personal opinion, without representation that it is or should be "the Epicurean position." I do not believe that I or anyone else has the ability to say what political positions every person applying Epicurean principles will take, and indeed that is the point of this article. I am writing this mainly to those of us who consider

    Read More

    On Pleasure vs. Tranquility - A Dialogue With Southampton



    JC:


    Hi Cassius. I'm sorry to badger you about this again, but I'm still trying to get my head around the pleasure principle. From my reading, all scholars agree that Epicurus divides pleasure into kinetic and katastematic. Am I right in thinking mainline scholars think Epicurus prized the latter over the former, and that DeWitt didn't? I ask because although mainline scholars I've read equate pleasure with tranquility / absence of

    Read More

    Principles: Not Neo-Epicurean, But Epicurean


    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,”

    Read More

    On Pain, Pleasure, and Happiness

    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.”

    195-cup-png

    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

    Read More

    Free Will in Epicurean Philosophy

    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

    Read More

    Epicurean Influences On The Enlightenment

    by Dimitris Altas, Cardiologist, member of Epicurean Philosophy Friends of Thessaloniki.



    In 1453 the Ottomans conquered Constantinople by abolishing the Eastern Roman Empire, a fact which had a significant impact on the rest of Christian Europe. One of the most important impacts was that the Ottomans became masters of Silk Road, the land route that united Medieval Europe with East Asia, and especially with India and China. This resulted

    Read More

    The Epicurean Viewpoint

    by George Kaplanis founding member of the Epicurean Garden in Thessaloniki



    Now I ask you: what is the “Epicurean Viewpoint”?


    - It is the view that we gain from looking through the Canon of Epicurus.

    - If our viewpoint was gained through the Platonic Dialectic, it would have been a Platonic view.

    - And if our viewpoint came through the use of Dialectical Materialism, it would be a Marxist view.

    And now, where will we look to gain this Epicurean

    Read More

    Major Controversies In Understanding Epicurean Philosophy


    Understanding Epicurus takes considerable effort, but not because the doctrines are difficult - they're not! The problem is that Epicurean philosophy has been heavily criticized for more than two thousand years, and most of the articles and commentary that have been produced over that time are by people who are critical of it and have no desire to present the philosophy clearly and fully. The only book-length work that

    Read More

Featured Files From The EpicureanFriends FileBase

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 and 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 this scheduling thread for confirmation of the time and date of the next session. The link to the online chat forum is here. 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