Epicurus: 'Live Hidden!'

Philosophy 63 (243):93 - 104 (1988)
Abstract
Epicurus, though popularly and indeed nominally associated with a doctrine advocating the procurement of rather expensive pleasure, lived very simply in his garden with a circle of friends. The 14th of his Sovran Maxims or Cardinal Tenets (kuriai doxai), as collected by Diogenes Laertius, reads: ‘When tolerable security against our fellowmen is attained, then on a basis of power sufficient to afford support and of material prosperity arises in most genuine form the security of a quiet private life withdrawn from the multitude’ R. D. Hicks, the translator, gives, as an alternative to ‘power sufficient to afford support’, ‘power to expel’, but on either reading, we are to think of Epicurus's garden, both the real place and the conceptualized, or tropologized, topos of wisdom and earthly felicity, as enclosed and exclusive. This enclosure, exclusivity, and—what is also implied—abstention of its inmates from participation in the affairs of state are given apophthegmatic expression in ‘Live hidden!’ We contemplate this adage, or slogan, from an enormous cultural distance and, for most of us, ‘Live hidden!’ is much more likely to trigger secondary reflections about the relations between ethics and politics, private and public, perfection of self and improvement of the world, than it is to constitute an actual, or potential, piece of advice we might think about whether, and how, to follow.
Keywords Epicurus
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 9,360
External links
  • Through your library Configure
    References found in this work BETA

    No references found.

    Citations of this work BETA

    No citations found.

    Similar books and articles
    Analytics

    Monthly downloads

    Added to index

    2010-08-10

    Total downloads

    9 ( #128,855 of 1,088,810 )

    Recent downloads (6 months)

    3 ( #30,953 of 1,088,810 )

    How can I increase my downloads?

    My notes
    Sign in to use this feature


    Discussion
    Start a new thread
    Order:
    There  are no threads in this forum
    Nothing in this forum yet.