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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 Inwood & 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 2010 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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  1. S. F. (2000). Keimpe Algra, Jonathan Barnes, Jaap Mansfeld and Malcolm Schofield (Eds) the Cambridge History of Hellenistic Philosophy. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999). Pp. XIX + 916. £80·00 (Hbk). ISBN 0 521 250285. [REVIEW] Religious Studies 36 (4):505-507.
  2. Dorothea Frede & Brad Inwood (eds.) (2005). Language and Learning: Philosophy of Language in the Hellenistic Age. Cambridge University Press.
    Hellenistic philosophers and scholars laid the foundations upon which Western tradition developed analytical grammar, linguistics, philosophy of language and other disciplines. Building on the pioneering work of Plato, Aristotle and earlier thinkers, they developed a wide range of theories about the nature and origin of language. Ten essays explore the ancient theories, their philosophical adequacy, and their impact on later thinkers from Augustine through the Middle Ages.
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  3. David J. Furley (ed.) (1999). From Aristotle to Augustine. Routledge.
    This offering in Routledge's acclaimed History of Philosophy series completes the acclaimed 10-volume collection. This work explores the schools of thought that developed in the wake of Platonism through the time of Augustine. The 11 separately authored in-depth articles include: Aristotle the scientist-- David Furley, Princeton University; Aristotle: logic and metaphysics-- Alan Code, Ohio State University; Aristotle: aesthetics and philosophy of mind -- David Gallop, Trent University, Ontario; Aristotle: ethics and politics-- Stephen White, University of Texas at Austin; The peripatetic (...)
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  4. J. C. A. Gaskin (ed.) (1995). The Epicurean Philosophers. C.E. Tuttle.
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  5. C. Gill (1998). Moral Codes and Social Structure in Ancient Greece: A Sociology of Greek Ethics From Homer to the Epicureans and Stoics. JM Bryant. [REVIEW] The Classical Review 48 (1):87-89.
  6. Stephen Greenblatt (2014). Da Zhuan Xiang: Wu Xing Lun Yu Yi Duan Niu Zhuan Wen Ming de Li Shi = the Swerve: How the World Became Modern. Mao Tou Ying Chu Ban.
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  7. I. Hadot (1982). La Doctrine de Simplicius Sur l'Âme Raisonnable Humaine Dans le Commentaire Sur le Manuel D'Epictète. In H. J. Blumenthal & A. C. Lloyd (eds.), Soul and the Structure of Being in Late Neoplatonism: Syrianus, Proclus, and Simplicius: Papers and Discussions of a Colloquium Held at Liverpool, 15-16 April 1982. Liverpool University Press.
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  8. Robert Drew Hicks (1962). Stoic and Epicurean. New York, Russell & Russell.
  9. Nicholas Hill (2007). Philosophia Epicuraea Democritiana Theophrastica. Fabrizio Serra Editore.
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  10. Howard Jones (1992). The Epicurean Tradition. Routledge.
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  11. R. W. Jordan (1988). G. Manolidis: Die Rolle der Physiologie in der Philosophie Epikurs. (Monographien zur philosophischen Forschung, 241.) Pp. xi + 175. Frankfurt am Main: Athenäum, 1987. Paper, DM 34. [REVIEW] The Classical Review 38 (02):426-.
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  12. G. B. Kerferd (1989). 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 (£35, Paper £15), Vol. 2 (£50). [REVIEW] The Classical Review 39 (01):49-51.
  13. G. B. Kerferd (1963). Two Studies in Greek Philosophy. The Classical Review 13 (02):192-.
  14. G. B. Kerferd (1963). Two Studies in Greek Philosophy F. Solmsen: (1) Ασθησις in Aristotelian and Epicurean Thought. (Med. Der K. Nederl. Akad., Afd. Letterkunde, N.R., Deel 24, No. 8.) Pp. 24. Amsterdam: Noord-Hollandsche Uitgevers Mij., 1961. Paper, Fl. 3. Cleanthes or Posidonius? The Basis of Stoic Physics. (Med. Der K. Nederl. Akad., Deel 24, No. 9.) Pp. 27. Amsterdam: Noord-Hollandsche Uitgevers Mij., 1961. Paper, Fl. 3.25. [REVIEW] The Classical Review 13 (02):192-193.
  15. G. B. Kerferd (1962). Epicurus and Aristotle Philip Merlan: Studies in Epicurus and Aristotle. (Klassisch-Philologische Studien, 22.) Pp. Vii+112; 4 Plates. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 1960. Paper, DM. 12. [REVIEW] The Classical Review 12 (01):46-47.
  16. G. B. Kerferd (1955). Epicurus. The Classical Review 5 (3-4):273-.
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  17. G. B. Kerferd (1955). Günther Freymuth: Zur Lehre von den Götterbildern in der epikureischen Philosophie. (Deutsche Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Berlin, Institut für hellenistisch-römische Philosophie, Veröffentlichung Nr. 2.) Pp. 43. Berlin: Akademie-Verlag, 1953. Paper, DM. 6.50. [REVIEW] The Classical Review 5 (02):199-200.
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  18. A. A. Long (2006). From Epicurus to Epictetus: Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy. Oxford University Press.
    A. A. Long, one of the world's leading writers on ancient philosophy, presents eighteen essays on the philosophers and schools of the Hellenistic and Roman periods--Epicureans, Stoics, and Sceptics. The discussion ranges over four centuries of innovative and challenging thought in ethics and politics, psychology, epistemology, and cosmology.
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  19. A. A. Long (1977). Domenico Pesce: Saggio Su Epicuro. (Biblioteca di Cultura Moderna, 757.) Pp. 110. Rome–Bari: Laterza, 1974. Paper, L.1,800. [REVIEW] The Classical Review 27 (02):291-292.
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  20. A. A. Long (1976). Anke Manuwald: Die Prolepsislehre Epikurs. Pp. 146. Bonn: Rudolf Habelt, 1972. Paper, DM. 24. [REVIEW] The Classical Review 26 (01):134-135.
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  21. A. A. Long (1976). Epicurean Psychology and Theology. [REVIEW] The Classical Review 26 (02):215-217.
  22. Jørgen Mejer (1978). Diogenes Laertius and His Hellenistic Background. Steiner.
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  23. Paul Elmer More (1923/1969). Hellenistic Philosophies. New York, Greenwood Press.
  24. Harry Neumann (1968). The Unpopularity of Epicurean Materialism. Modern Schoolman 45 (4):299-311.
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  25. D. A. Russell (1965). A New Text of Diogenes Laertius. [REVIEW] The Classical Review 15 (02):174-.
  26. F. H. Sandbach (1963). Feugitá Portalupi: Plutarco, De Latenter Vivendo. (Università di Torino, Pubblicazioni delta Facoltà di Magistero, 22.) Pp. 25. Turin: Giappichelli, 1961. Paper, L. 600. [REVIEW] The Classical Review 13 (01):114-.
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  27. Malcolm Schofield (2007). Epicureanism and Politics. [REVIEW] The Classical Review 57 (01):179-.
  28. Malcolm Schofield, Myles Burnyeat & Jonathan Barnes (eds.) (1980). Doubt and Dogmatism: Studies in Hellenistic Epistemology. Oxford University Press.
    THE PROTAGONISTS David Sedley The primary object of this historical introduction1 is to enable a reader encountering Hellenistic philosophy for the first ...
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  29. Dominic Scott (1989). Epicurean Illusions. Classical Quarterly 39 (02):360-.
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  30. D. N. Sedley (1979). Epicurus. The Classical Review 29 (01):82-.
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  31. Patrick Shade (1999). Stoics, Epicureans and Sceptics. Teaching Philosophy 22 (1):80-84.
  32. Herman Shapiro (1965). Hellenistic Philosophy; Selected Readings in Epicureanism. New York, Modern Library.
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  33. R. W. Sharples (2002). The Cambridge History of Hellenistic Philosophy. Philosophical Review 111 (1):101-105.
  34. David Suits (2008). An Epicurean Ideal. Philosophy Now 70:8-9.
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  35. David Swift (2008). The Epicurean Theory of Mind, Meaning, and Knowledge. Cambridge Scholars Pub..
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  36. Author unknown, Diogenes Laertius. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  37. P. A. Vander Waerdt (1987). The Justice of the Epicurean Wise Man. Classical Quarterly 37 (02):402-.
  38. Marcel Verweij (2010). De Remedie van Epicurus. Aspekt.
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  39. James Warren (2009). Philosophy (G.) Roskam 'Live Unnoticed': Λάθε Βιώσαζ. On the Vicissitudes of an Epicurean Doctrine. (Philosophia Antiqua 111). Leiden: Brill, 2007. Pp. Xii + 233. €89. 9789004161719. (G.) Roskam ACommentary on Plutarch's De Latenter Vivendo. Leuven: Leuven University Press, 2007. Pp. 279. €34.50. 9789058676030. [REVIEW] Journal of Hellenic Studies 129:243-.
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  40. James Warren (2007). Koch (R.) Comment Peut-on Être Dieu? La Secte d'Épicure. Pp. 303, Ills. Paris: Éditions Belin, 2005. Paper, €26. ISBN: 978-2-7011-4024-. [REVIEW] The Classical Review 57 (02).
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  41. James Warren (2002). Later epicureans M. Erler (ed.): Epikureismus in der späten republik und kaiserzeit. Akten der 2. tagung der Karl und Gertrud Abel stiftung vom. 30 september–3 oktober 1998 im würzburg . Pp. 316. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner verlag, 2000. Cased, dm 136. Isbn: 3-515-07494-. [REVIEW] The Classical Review 52 (01):55-.
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  42. A. F. Wells (1963). The Impacts of Epicureanism Ettore Paratore: l'Epicureismo e la sua diffusione nel mondo Latino. Pp. 99. Rome: Edizioni dell' Ateneo, 1960. Paper, L. 1,000. [REVIEW] The Classical Review 13 (02):193-194.
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  43. Alexei Zadorojnyi (2005). Plutarch Vs. Epicureans J. Boulogne: Plutarque dans le miroir d'Épicure. Analyse d'une critique systématique de l'épicurisme . Pp. 253. Villeneuve d'Ascq: Presses Universitaires du Septentrion, 2003. Paper, €27. ISBN: 2-85939-805-. [REVIEW] The Classical Review 55 (02):460-.
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  44. Eduard Zeller (1962). The Stoics, Epicureans, and Sceptics. New York, Russell & Russell.
Epicurus
  1. J. Adam (1893). Epicurus and Erotion. The Classical Review 7 (07):303-304.
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  2. Thomas W. Africa (1979). Epicurean Political Philosophy. International Studies in Philosophy 11:213-214.
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  3. Sara Ahbel-Rappe (2008). Long's Essays (A.A.) Long From Epicurus to Epictetus. Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy. Pp. Xvi + 439. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2006. Cased, £55 (Paper, £24). ISBN: 978-0-19-927911-1 (978-0-19-927912-8 Pbk). [REVIEW] The Classical Review 58 (02):396-.
  4. Keimpe Algra (2004). Hellenistic and Early Imperial Philosophy. [REVIEW] Phronesis 49 (2):202-217.
  5. Keimpe Algra (2000). Hellenistic Philosophy. [REVIEW] Phronesis 45 (1):77 - 86.
  6. Keimpe Algra (1998). Aristotle and Hellenistic Philosophy. [REVIEW] Phronesis 43 (4):351 - 359.
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