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Summary Epicureanism is the philosophical system formulated by Epicurus (341-271 BCE). It was one of the most influential and popular philosophical schools in the Hellenistic era. Epicureanism revives the atomism of Democritus and rejects the teleology of Aristotle and the immaterial soul and forms of Plato. All events are the result of indivisible bodies (atoms) interacting in the void, and the gods have no role in the workings of the world. Epicurean ethics is a form of ascetic egoistic hedonism. Only one's own pleasure is intrinsically valuable, but the limit of pleasure is freedom from bodily distress and (especially) peace of mind, and the way to acquire peace of mind is by limiting your desires. The Epicurean arguments against the fear of death have been especially influential: death is annihilation, and so your death is bad for you neither when you are alive (as you are not dead) nor when you are dead (as you no longer exist).
Key works Most of Epicurus' writings are lost, but book ten of Diogenes Laertius' Lives of Eminent Philosophers, in its summary of Epicurus' life and teachings, contains three letters by Epicurus that summarize his physics, views on celestial and meteorological phenomena, and ethics. It also includes the "Principal Doctrines," short sayings mainly on ethics. The Roman poet and fervent Epicurean Lucretius (c. 94-55 BCE) composed "On the Nature of Things," a massive 6-book summary of Epicurean physics. The Roman statesmen Cicero (106–43 BCE) includes important summaries of Epicurean arguments in his philosophical works. Long & Sedley 1987 and Gerson 1994 are compendiums of many of the crucial texts, with Long & Sedley 1987 including extensive commentary.
Introductions Konstan 2008 is a good encyclopedia entry on Epicurus. O'Keefe 2009 is an accessible book-length overview of the Epicurean philosophical system, while Warren 2009 contains chapters that deal more extensively with the current scholarly literature.
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Subcategories:
Epicurus (1,111)
Lucretius (1,166)
Philodemus (183)

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  1. Nietzsche and Epicurus Ed. By Vinod Acharya and Ryan J. Johnson.Mattia Sisti - 2021 - Journal of Nietzsche Studies 52 (2):307-313.
    This volume, edited by Vinod Acharya and Ryan J. Johnson, consists of fourteen chapters concerning Nietzsche’s lifelong fascination with Epicurus. Epicurus was hailed by Nietzsche as the ideal thinker in the middle period of his philosophical career and subsequently accused of being a decadent figure.The volume is divided into four parts. Part 1 is titled “Encounters: Body, Mood, Geography and Aesthetic” and consists of five chapters: Carlotta Santini on Nietzsche’s critique of Epicurus’s writing style; Ryan Johnson on the topic of (...)
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  2. Epicureans and Stoics on the Rationality of Perception.Whitney Schwab & Simon Shogry - forthcoming - Wiley-Online-Library: Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, EarlyView.
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  3. Epicureans and Stoics on the Rationality of Perception.Whitney Schwab & Simon Shogry - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, EarlyView.
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  4. Epicurean Ethics (Oxford Bibliographies Online).Max Robitzsch & Clerk Shaw - 2021 - Oxford Bibliographies Online.
    An annotated bibliography of assorted topics in Epicurean ethics. Includes sections on: pleasure; moral psychology; virtue; friendship; sex, love, marriage, and children; death; and the Epicurean way of life.
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  5. Epicureans and Stoics on the Rationality of Perception.Whitney Schwab & Simon Shogry - forthcoming - Wiley: Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    This paper examines an ancient debate over the rationality of perception. What leads the Stoics to affirm, and the Epicureans to deny, that to form a sense- impression is an activity of reason? The answer, we argue, lies in a disagreement over what is required for epistemic success. For the Stoics, epistemic success consists in believing the right propositions, and only rational states, in virtue of their predicational structure, put us in touch with propositions. Since they identify some sense-impressions as (...)
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  6. Philosophy at the Gym.Erik Kenyon - manuscript
    Ethical philosophy was born in the gyms of Athens. This book returns a body of abstract thought to its original context, to understand how training for the body sparked training for the mind. We will use archaeology to reconstruct the reality of ancient athletics and literary texts to critique philosophers’ idealized versions of this reality. We will explore a cluster of questions about the nature of happiness (eudaimonia), the role of human excellence (arete) in this life and what forms of (...)
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  7. Lives of Pleasure: A Comparative Essay on Cārvāka and Epicurean Ethics.Christopher Paone - forthcoming - Philosophy East and West 72 (4).
    A long-lived and lively tradition of materialist philosophers flourished in classical India and in classical Greece. Due to the condition of their texts, however, they do not often receive close study. This essay compares the views of the classical Indian materialists, the Cārvākas, and the classical Greek materialists, the Epicureans. The first section introduces their philosophies. The second outlines their doctrines of empiricism and materialism. The third and fourth turn to two comparative topics in Cārvāka and Epicurean ethics: their views (...)
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  8. Deleuze's Metaphysics of Structure in Difference and Repetition.Yannis Chatzantonis - manuscript
    This essay describes and evaluates the conception of mereological structure that underpins Deleuze’s account of ontogenesis in Difference and Repetition. A theory of mereology is a theory of composition: it asks what it is to be a part making a whole, what it is to be a whole collecting its parts; in short, in what the relation of making or composing consists. The locus classicus for modern mereology is the third of Husserl’s Logical Investigations (‘On the Theory of Wholes and (...)
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  9. The C** Word: Covid-19 and Calculation.Dimitris Vardoulakis - 2020 - The Philosophical Salon.
    Calculation is omnipresent in the current pandemic. And yet, Continental philosophers never talk about calculation: it seems to be the c** of philosophy. Why is that so? Has it always been like that?
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  10. Glossarium Epicureum.Phillip De Lacy, Hermann Karl Usener, M. Gigante & W. Schmid - 1979 - American Journal of Philology 100 (3):468.
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  11. The Sculpted Word: Epicureanism and Philosophical Recruitment in Ancient Greece.Diskin Clay & Bernard Frischer - 1984 - American Journal of Philology 105 (4):484.
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  12. Sceptical Buddhism as Provenance and Project.James Mark Shields - 2020 - In Oren Hanner (ed.), Buddhism and Scepticism: Historical, Philosophical, and Comparative Perspectives. Freiburg/Bochum: pp. 161-177.
  13. Neo-Epicureanism.Dimitris Vardoulakis - 2019 - Philosophy Today 63 (4):1013-1024.
    By looking at its history, this article emphasizes the importance of practical judgment for materialism. This sense of practical judgment is traced back to the function of phronesis in one of the ancient schools of materialism, namely, the Epicureans.
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  14. Ein neuer Brief Epikurs. By C. Jensen. Pp. 94. Berlin: Weidmann, 1933. 8 m.S. P. B. - 1934 - Journal of Hellenic Studies 54 (1):102-103.
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  15. The Hellenistic Philosophers - A. A. Long, D. N. Sedley: The Hellenistic Philosophers, Vol. 1: Translations of the Principal Sources with Philosophical Commentary, Vol. 2: Greek and Latin Texts with Notes and Bibliography. Pp. Xv + 512, X + 512; 1 Line Drawing. Cambridge University Press, 1987. Vol. 1 , Vol. 2. [REVIEW]G. B. Kerferd - 1989 - The Classical Review 39 (1):49-51.
  16. M. Gigante: Kepos e Peripatos: Contributo alla storia dell’aristotelismo antico. Pp. 159. Naples: Bibliopolis, 1999. Paper, L. 35,000. ISBN: 88-7088-308-6. [REVIEW]J. I. Daniel - 2002 - The Classical Review 52 (1):174-175.
  17. Von der Erkenntnistheorie der Natur Zur Idee der Praxis — Eine Marxsche Auseinandersetzung MIT der Naturphilosophie Demokrits Und Epikurs.Guli-Sanam Karimova - 2018 - In Dominik Novkovic & Alexander Akel (eds.), Karl Marx – Philosophie, Pädagogik, Gesellschaftstheorie und Politik. Kassel, Deutschland: pp. 141-157.
    Eine der frühesten Schriften des jungen Karl Marx — die Dissertationsschrift „Differenz der demokritischen und epikureischen Naturphilosophie“ — legt wichtige Fundamente für das gesamte Marx’sche Denken. In der Dissertationsschrift versucht Marx anhand des Vergleichs der antiken Naturphilosophien Demokrits und Epikurs grundlegende Erkenntnisse der theoretischen und praktischen Philosophie in einem komplexen, von Hegel inspirierten ontologischen System zu verbinden. Aus dieser kritischen Synthese antiker Naturphilosophien entsteht so eine auf Hegelschen Begriffen basierende, aber gleichzeitig reformierte Idee der Praxis. Auf diesen Grundlagen sowie mit (...)
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  18. Fleischer Dionysios von Alexandria, De Natura : Übersetzung, Kommentar und Würdigung, mit einer Einleitung zur Geschichte des Epikureismus in Alexandria. Turnhout: Brepols, 2016. Pp. 513. €100. 9782503566382. [REVIEW]Lincoln H. Blumell & Zakarias D. Gram - 2018 - Journal of Hellenic Studies 138:299-300.
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  19. Hellenistic Cosmopolitanism.Eric Brown - 2006 - In Mary Louise Gill & Pierre Pellegrin (eds.), A Companion to Ancient Philosophy. Oxford, UK: pp. 549-558.
    This chapter surveys the origins and development in Greek philosophy of the thought that living well requires living as a citizen of the world.
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  20. Providencia divina y valor ontológico de los singulares: la polémica filosófica tardoantigua y la posición de Orígenes y de Nemesio de Émesa.Francisco Bastitta-Harriet - 2012 - Patristica Et Medievalia 33:37-50.
    El presente trabajo se concentra en el debate acerca de los alcances de la providencia que tuvo lugar entre las escuelas estoica, platónica y peripatética entre las siglos I y III de nuestra era. En ese contexto, analiza el problema del status ontológico de los singulares en Orígenes de Alejandría y Nemesio de Émesa. Influidos primariamente por la síntesis filoniana entre las distintas teorías griegas de providencia y la de las Escrituras, estos autores fundan la consistencia de los singulares en (...)
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  21. James Warren, “The Pleasures of Reason in Plato, Aristotle, and the Hellenistic Hedonists.” Review by Facundo Bey. [REVIEW]Facundo Bey - 2016 - Boletín de Estética 36:71-76.
    The Pleasures of Reason in Plato, Aristotle, and the Hellenistic Hedonists se centra en la relación mutua entre las capacidades humanas de sentir placer y dolor y el carácter afectivo que las une con las facultades cognitivas de aprender, comprender, recordar, evocar, planificar y anticiparse. Para esto, Warren consagra toda su agudeza analítica a eminentes obras del pensamiento antiguo: particularmente nos referimos a los diálogos platónicos República, Protágoras y Filebo. Otro tanto hace con De Anima, De Memoria et Reminiscentia, Ética (...)
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  22. Weight in Greek Atomism.Michael J. Augustin - 2015 - Philosophia 45 (1):76-99.
    The testimonia concerning weight in early Greek atomism appear to contradict one another. Some reports assert that the atoms do have weight, while others outright deny weight as a property of the atoms. A common solution to this apparent contradiction divides the testimonia into two groups. The first group describes the atoms within a κόσμος, where they have weight; the second group describes the atoms outside of a κόσμος, where they are weightless. A key testimonium for proponents of this solution (...)
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  23. Hammerstaedt and Smith The Epicurean Inscription of Diogenes of Oinoanda. Ten Years of New Discoveries and Research. Bonn: Habelt, 2014. Pp. 288. €69. 9783774939271. [REVIEW]Matthias Haake - 2016 - Journal of Hellenic Studies 136:291-293.
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  24. Deleuze and Ancient Greek Physics: The Image of Nature.Michael James Bennett - 2017 - London, UK: Bloomsbury Academic.
    In 1988 the philosopher Gilles Deleuze remarked that throughout his career he had always been 'circling around' a concept of nature. Showing how Deleuze weaves original readings of Plato, the Stoics, Aristotle, and Epicurus into some of his most famous arguments about event, difference, and problem, Michael James Bennett argues that these interpretations of ancient Greek physics provide vital clues for understanding Deleuze's own conception of nature. -/- "Deleuze and Ancient Greek Physics" delves into the original Greek and Latin texts (...)
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  25. Jacques Brunschwig and Martha C. Nussbaum, Eds., "Passions and Perceptions: Studies in Hellenistic Philosophy of Mind". [REVIEW]Lloyd P. Gerson - 1995 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 33 (1):165.
  26. "Hellenistic Philosophy: Stoics, Epicureans, Sceptics". Second Edition, by A.A. Long. [REVIEW]Alexander Dalzell - 1989 - Ancient Philosophy 9 (1):131.
  27. La Bibliothèque de Philodème Et L’Épicurisme Romain. [REVIEW]Phillip De Lacy - 1991 - Ancient Philosophy 11 (2):459.
  28. P. Herc. 1055. [REVIEW]Jeffrey S. Purinton - 2002 - The Classical Review 52 (2):267-268.
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  29. I Dispiaceri Di Un Epicureo. Uno Studio Sulla Poetica Oraziana Delle Epistole. [REVIEW]Joan Booth - 1995 - The Classical Review 45 (1):164-165.
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  30. Koerte's Metrodorus. [REVIEW]J. Burnet - 1892 - The Classical Review 6 (7):322-322.
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  31. Stoic and Epicurean.Paul Shorey - 1911 - Journal of Philosophy, Psychology and Scientific Methods 8 (2):50-52.
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  32. Die Prolepsislehre Epikurs. [REVIEW]A. A. Long - 1976 - The Classical Review 26 (1):134-135.
  33. Comment Peut-on Être Dieu? La Secte d'Épicure. [REVIEW]James Warren - 2007 - The Classical Review 57 (2):338-339.
  34. "Matter and Metaphysics". Fourth Symposium Hellenisticum, Edited by J. Barnes and M. Mignucci. [REVIEW]Stephen A. White - 1995 - Ancient Philosophy 15 (1):289-300.
  35. Fear Not: An Epicurean Exercise.Jasmin Contos - 2014 - Dissertation,
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  36. Passions and Perceptions: Studies in Hellenistic Philosophy of Mind: Proceedings of the Fifth Symposium Hellenisticum.Christopher Gill, Jacques Brunschwig & Martha Nussbaum - 1995 - Philosophical Review 104 (4):583.
    This is the latest volume in a series that has made important contributions on Hellenistic philosophy, currently the liveliest context of research in ancient philosophy. Each volume is based on a smallish conference of leading international scholars; the aim is not to generate shared work on a single issue or topic, but to produce a series of original, expert papers in a given area. A feature of the series has been to show not only that much new, good scholarship can (...)
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  37. Hellenistic Philosophy of Mind.John M. Cooper & Julia Annas - 1994 - Philosophical Review 103 (1):182.
  38. The Hellenistic Philosophers: Volume 2, Greek and Latin Texts with Notes and Bibliography.A. A. Long & D. N. Sedley - 1989 - Cambridge University Press.
    This comprehensive sourcebook makes available in the original Latin and Greek the principal extant texts required for the study of the Stoic, Epicurean and sceptical schools of philosophy. The material is organised by schools, and within each school topics are treated thematically. The volume presents the same texts as are translated in The Hellenistic Philosophers, Volume 1. The authors provide their own critical apparatus, and also supply detailed notes on the more difficult texts. This volume is equipped with a large (...)
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  39. Diogenes Laertius: Lives of Eminent Philosophers.Tiziano Dorandi (ed.) - 2013 - Cambridge University Press.
    This edition presents a radically improved text of Diogenes Laertius' Lives of Eminent Philosophers. The text is accompanied by a full critical apparatus on three levels. A lengthy introduction lists all the manuscripts of the Lives and discusses its transmission in late antiquity, the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. There is also an index of personal names, a bibliography and notes covering several features of the text and its interpretation. Professor Dorandi has used the Nachlaß of Peter Von der Mühll, (...)
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  40. The Stoic and Epicurean Philosophers. [REVIEW]P. O. K. & Whitney J. Oates - 1941 - Journal of Philosophy 38 (16):446.
  41. Quantitative Measurements and the Greek Atomists.Paul Tasch - 1948 - Isis 38 (3/4):185-189.
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  42. The Talmudic View of Epicureanism.S. J. Bastomsky - 1973 - Apeiron 7 (1):17 - 19.
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  43. Strategies of Polemics in Greek and Roman Philosophy.Sharon Weisser & Naly Thaler (eds.) - 2016 - Brill.
    This volume brings together eleven papers written by specialists of ancient philosophy, focusing on philosophical polemics from the Classical to the Roman period, by way of Hellenistic philosophy.
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  44. Passions and Perceptions: Studies in Hellenistic Philosophy of Mind.Jacques Brunschwig & Martha C. Nussbaum (eds.) - 1993 - Cambridge University Press.
    The philosophers of the Hellenistic schools in ancient Greece and Rome made important contributions to the philosophy of mind and the philosophy of psychology. This volume, which contains the proceedings of the Fifth Symposium Hellenisticum, describes and analyses their contributions on issues such as: the nature of perception, imagination and belief; the nature of the passions and their role in action; the relationship between mind and body; freedom and determinism; the role of pleasure as a goal; the effects of poetry (...)
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  45. Epicureanism: A Very Short Introduction.Catherine Wilson - 2015 - Oxford University Press UK.
    Epicureanism is commonly associated with a carefree view of life and the pursuit of pleasures, particularly the pleasures of the table. However it was a complex and distinctive system of philosophy that emphasized simplicity and moderation, and considered nature to consist of atoms and the void. Epicureanism is a school of thought whose legacy continues to reverberate today.In this Very Short Introduction, Catherine Wilson explains the key ideas of the School, comparing them with those of the rival Stoics and with (...)
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  46. The Nature of the Gods.Marcus Tullius Cicero (ed.) - 2008 - Oxford University Press UK.
    `My present intention is to clear myself of any suspicion of partiality by presenting the views of the generality of philosophers concerning the nature of the gods.' Cicero's philosophical works are now exciting renewed interest, in part because he provides vital evidence of the views of the Greek philosophers of the Hellenistic age, and partly because of the light he casts on the intellectual life of first century Rome. The Nature of the Gods is a text of central significance, presenting (...)
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  47. 5. The Epicurean and Skeptic Ways of Life.John M. Cooper - 2012 - In Pursuits of Wisdom: Six Ways of Life in Ancient Philosophy From Socrates to Plotinus. Princeton University Press. pp. 226-304.
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  48. Space in Hellenistic Philosophy: Critical Studies in Ancient Physics.Christoph Horn, Christoph Helmig & Graziano Ranocchia (eds.) - 2014 - De Gruyter.
    The volume discusses the notion of space by focusing on the most representative exponents of the Hellenistic schools and explores the role played by spatial concepts in both coeval and later authors who, without specifically thematising these concepts, made use of them in a theoretically original way. Renowned scholars investigate the philosophical significance and bring to light the problematical character of the ancient conceptions of space.
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  49. Stoicismo, Epicureismo E Letteratura.Alberto Grilli - 1992 - Paideia.
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  50. Logica, Mente E Persona: Studi Sulla Filosofia Antica.Antonina M. Alberti - 1990
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