EpicureanFriends.com: The Online Epicurean Philosophy User Group

Announcements

  • Cassius

    Episode Two of the Lucretius Today Podcast Is Now Live: Episode Two - The Lucretius Today Podcast

  • Cassius

    As we plan more online participation, please take a look at this thread: Scheduling of Online Activities As Of January 2020

  • Cassius

  • Cassius

    Here is a place to discuss additions to the glossary part of the FAQ. Each term already in it will have its own thread so use this thread to comment and general and then make suggestions on details in the individual thread: Adding a Glossary to the FAQ

  • Cassius

    Because we so frequently have misunderstandings due to basic Epicurean definitions of terms, such as "gods," "pleasure," and "knowledge." I am adding a subsection of the FAQ devoted to these words. We probably should also add "anticipations" as well. Are there other specific terms we should consider highlighting? https://www.epicureanfriends.c…dex.php?faq/#category-208

  • Cassius

    Please check out the first episode of our LucretiusToday podcast - now online: Episode One - Lucretius Today Podcast We hope for many more to come so please leave us your feedback.

  • Cassius

    I've just released online the first edition of a PDF which combines the three best public domain translations of Lucretius with bookmarks and navigational aids. This will be helpful as we study Lucretius in the podcast, and I hope we can work to improve this greatly over time: Lucretius - Epicureanfriends.com Reference Edition - Version 01 - 01/11/20

  • Cassius

    We've had ten new users in the last thirty days, and that's good progress. Thanks to all who participate here and who help spread the word about the forum.

  • Cassius

    Happy New Year to everyone! Thank you for your participation in 2019, and let's do it again, and more pleasantly, in 2020!

  • Cassius

    A new topic of special importance: Elayne's An Approach to Reading Philosophy

  • Cassius

    Over the next few days most of us will be preoccupied with holidays / travelling / friends and family, and so posting may be sporadic. Happy Holidays to everyone who participates here at Epicureanfriends.com!

  • Cassius

    It looks like we may have an extensive discussion of the 20 Tenets of the Society of Epicurus, so I have set up a separate subforum where threads can be opened on single items from that list, or other topics about the Society of Epicurus, as desired: Other - Society of Epicurus

  • Cassius

    Reorganized several of the forums so that all major "projects" being coordinated here are found in one place: Major Projects

  • Cassius

    Happy Twentieth of December, 2019 - And here is a new subforum for us to accumulate our 20th Commemorations each month: Twentieth Commemorations

  • Cassius

    New Forum with Interesting Additions By Joshua and Charles: Search and Identification of Epicureans of the Past

  • Cassius

    This is a topic that is constantly asked about, so I have reorganized this section of the forum to make these topics easier to find: Dealing With Adversity (Including Depression, Generalized Anxiety, Loss of Important Values)

  • Cassius

    Happy Friday! I think I have now fixed the field length issues, and the "About Me" page of each user's profile should allow for a lot more text. Try it out, and especially please consider adding to your profile a list of Epicurean works that you have read. That should be of great help as people get to know each other - they can look to see what kind of reading background the other person has. For an example of what to include, take a look at this post: Welcome Obscure!

  • Cassius

    Not that it is recommended, but If you happen to be reading through Catherine Wilson's "How To Be An Epicurean" and would like to make notes that you can share here on the forum, check out this blank outline which you can copy and paste into a post of your own: Outlining Catherin Wilson's "How To Be An Epicurean" - A Blank Form

  • Cassius

    Next open call (to continue in DeWitt Chapter 14) will be December 1 (tentatively) epicureanfriends.com/wcf/calendar/index.php?event/606/

  • Cassius

    Remember tomorrow morning is our next open Skye Meeting: epicureanfriends.com/wcf/calendar/index.php?event/605/

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

Active Threads

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    1. Draft Agenda For Online Meeting One To Be Turned Into An "Epicurus Today" podcast

      • Cassius
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    1. Julien Offray de la Mettrie - Unorganized Thread for findings and quotations 16

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    3. Charles

    1. Anticipations in La Mettrie 6

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    3. Cassius

    1. Feedback From A User 28

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    1. Voltaire

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    1. Episode Three - The Lucretius Today Podcast 14

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    1. Community Health And Wellness Check 7

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    3. Mike Anyayahan

    1. Is Death Nothing To Us? 2

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    3. Cassius

    1. "Dualism" and "Philology" 16

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    3. Charles

    1. Welcome A_Gardner! 5

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    1. Episode Two - The Lucretius Today Podcast 2

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    1. Epicurus and the Art of Land Surveying 2

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    1. Scheduling of Online Activities As Of January 2020 15

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    3. Cassius

    1. Scheduling And Beginning Thoughts for Epicurus Today Podcast 5

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    3. Cassius

    1. Welcome JLR / Lee! 9

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    3. Lee

    1. Attitudes: Stoic Gloom vs. Epicurean Sunshine 6

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    3. Cassius

    1. Charles' Glossary and Translations of Obscure Epicurean Books 16

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    3. Cassius

    1. Happy Twentieth of January, 2020! 2

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    3. Mike Anyayahan

    1. Welcome Glamb54!

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    1. Welcome Philodemus!

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

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    3. Hiram

    1. It was a pleasure 2

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    3. JJElbert

    1. Episode One - Lucretius Today Podcast 7

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    1. How To Convert A Neo-Epicurean Into A Classical Epicurean 2

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    1. How do we feel about Peter Saint-Andre? 5

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

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    3. Hiram

    1. The Notre Dame Fire 78

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    3. JJElbert

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

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    3. Cassius

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

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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" 52

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    1. Best Way to Introduce Teachings? 50

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

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    3. Cassius

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Featured Articles

    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

    [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 ourselves to be actively promoting Epicurean philosophy. I believe strongly that everyone,

    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

    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 even attempts to do so is Norman DeWitt's "Epicurus and His

    Read More

    “It is observed too that in his treatise On the Ethical End he writes in these terms : “I know not how to conceive the good, apart from the pleasures of taste, of sex, of sound, and the pleasures of beautiful form.”

    – Diogenes Laertius, Book X


    There are many challenges in interpreting Epicurean philosophy relate to the proper interpretation of Epicurus’ view of pleasure as the goal of life. When Epicureans used the term “pleasure,” did they mean “pleasure” as ordinary

    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