An introduction to Epicurus

I am utterly swamped today, friends, so it occurs to me that this would be the perfect opportunity to let someone else do the talking. I’ve been wanting to talk about Epicureanism — not in the modern sense of gourmet or hedonistic sensualist, but the original meaning, the teachings of Epicurus. He’s not a well-known philosopher anymore; of his more than 300 written works, only a handful survive. Most of what is known about him comes from the writings of others, many of them mangy stoics detractors.

But here, I’ll let someone else give you the philosophy lesson:

Here’s Part 2.

And the THRILLING CONCLUSION in Part 3.

Those of you who are at work, or don’t have time, or can’t be bothered, here’s the punchline. Epicurus believed three things were necessary for happiness: friends, self-sufficiency (or independence), and time spent THINKING about your problems. No mention of gourmet food or overindulgence, contrary to popular belief.

How does this relate to Seraphina? Well, that’s another post.


2 Comments on “An introduction to Epicurus”

  1. Joshua Macy says:

    I’m a big fan of Epicurus, but I bailed when they spent more time talking to some shopaholic git than talking about Epicurus. Do they ever get around to actually quoting any of the fragments?

    • I forgot this fellow had such a big bee in his bonnet about shopping; it’s been a few years since I watched this. I don’t think he gets into the text enough to satisfy someone who already knows some Epicurus. This is really very basic and mainly aimed at dispelling modern notions of Epicurean hedonism. There’s an interesting bit about Diogenes of Oenoanda, but possibly nothing you didn’t already know.


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