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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 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.
Related categories
Epicurus (494)
Lucretius (787)
Philodemus (127)

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  1. Logica, Mente E Persona Studi Sulla Filosofia Antica.Antonina M. Alberti, Jonathan Barnes, Anna Maria Ioppolo & Christopher Kirwan - 1990
  2. Études Sur les Philosophies Hellénistiques.James Allen - 1998 - Review of Metaphysics 52 (1):132-134.
  3. Epicurean Poetics.Elizabeth Asmis - 2006 - In Andrew Laird (ed.), Ancient Literary Criticism. Oxford University Press.
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  4. Further Observations on the Correspondence of Gilbert Highet and Cyril Bailey.Robert J. Ball - 2005 - Classical World: A Quarterly Journal on Antiquity 98 (4).
  5. The Correspondence of Gilbert Highet and Cyril Bailey.Robert J. Ball - 2004 - Classical World: A Quarterly Journal on Antiquity 98 (1).
  6. Hacia una lectura unitaria de la obra doxográfica de Diógenes Laercio: S. Grau Guijarro: La imatge del filòsof i de l'activitat filosòfica a la Grècia antiga, Anàlisi dels tòpics biogràfics presents a les "Vides i doctrines dels filòsofs més il·lustres" de Diògenes Laerci , Barcelona, PPU, 2009.Rafael Ramis Barceló - 2009 - Astrolabio: Revista Internacional de Filosofía 9:241-245.
  7. Matter and Metaphysics Fourth Symposium Hellenisticum.Jonathan Barnes & Mario Mignucci - 1988
  8. Science and Speculation Studies in Hellenistic Theory and Practice /Edited by Jonathan Barnes ... [Et Al.]. --. --.Jonathan Barnes & France) Hellenistic Philosophy and Science Paris - 1982 - Cambridge University Press Editions de la Maison des Sciences de l'Homme, 1982.
  9. The Talmudic View of Epicureanism.S. J. Bastomsky - 1973 - Apeiron 7 (1):17 - 19.
  10. Le Traité Bâlois de Natura Accidentis: Entre Thomisme Et Antithomisme.Alessandra Beccarisi - 2012 - Revue Thomiste 112 (1):61-78.
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  11. 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 (...)
  12. Catullus and Capito.Braunlich Braunlich - 1942 - Classical World: A Quarterly Journal on Antiquity 36:249.
  13. 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 (...)
  14. 6 Hellenistic Philosophy.Jacques Brunschwig & David Sedley - 2003 - In D. N. Sedley (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Greek and Roman Philosophy. Cambridge University Press. pp. 151.
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  15. Bailey, C., Religion in Virgil. [REVIEW]Burriss Burriss - 1936 - Classical World: A Quarterly Journal on Antiquity 30:48-49.
  16. Virgil's Lime-Wood Yoke.Francis Cairns - 2013 - Classical Quarterly 63 (1):434-438.
    The Florida State University / Faculty of Classics, University of Cambridge caeditur et tilia ante iugo leuis altaque fagus stiuaque, quae currus a tergo torqueat imosIn these two lines of his instructions for making a plough Virgil prescribes the wood of the tilia as suitable for the iugum ; he also mentions the fagus , seemingly in connection with the making of the stiua . These recommendations are both problematic, and since the latter admits of no sure solution, treatment of (...)
  17. Persona E Natura.A. Campodonico - 1991 - Studium 87 (3):379-389.
  18. Fear Not: An Epicurean Exercise.Jasmin Contos - unknown
  19. 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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  20. Hellenistic Philosophy of Mind.John M. Cooper & Julia Annas - 1994 - Philosophical Review 103 (1):182.
  21. Natura E Universo Fisico.N. Dallaporta - 1987 - Studium 83 (4-5):583-598.
  22. Hellenistic Philosophy. [REVIEW]Alexander Dalzell - 1989 - Ancient Philosophy 9 (1):131 - 132.
  23. Prawo Naturalne – Natura Prawa.Piotr Dardziński, Franciszek Longchamps de Bérier & Krzysztof Szczucki (eds.) - 2011 - C. H. Beck.
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  24. Julia E. Annas., Hellenistic Philosophy of Mind.John Dillon - 1994 - International Studies in Philosophy 26 (4):106-107.
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  25. David Sedley.I. Ipse Dixit - 1989 - In Miriam T. Griffin & Jonathan Barnes (eds.), Philosophia Togata: Essays on Philosophy and Roman Society. Oxford University Press. pp. 1--97.
  26. 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, (...)
  27. 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]S. F. - 2000 - Religious Studies 36 (4):505-507.
  28. Sceptics and Epicureans: A Discussion of M. Gigante, "Scetticismo E Epicureismo". [REVIEW]D. Fowler - 1984 - Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 2:237.
  29. From Aristotle to Augustine.David J. Furley (ed.) - 1999 - 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 (...)
  30. Passions and Perceptions: Studies in Hellenistic Philosophy of Mind.Lloyd P. Gerson - 1995 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 33 (1):165-166.
  31. Cinismo E Epicureismo.Marcello Gigante - 1992
  32. Stoicism and Epicureanism.Christopher Gill - 2009 - In Peter Goldie (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Emotion. Oxford University Press.
  33. 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.
  34. The Epicurean Theory of Knowledge.David Kenneth Glidden - 1971 - Dissertation, Princeton University
  35. Language and Learning: Philosophy of Language in the Hellenistic Age (Review).Laura Grams - 2007 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 45 (1):153-154.
    Laura Grams - Language and Learning: Philosophy of Language in the Hellenistic Age - Journal of the History of Philosophy 45:1 Journal of the History of Philosophy 45.1 153-154 Muse Search Journals This Journal Contents Reviewed by Laura Grams University of Nebraska at Omaha Dorothea Frede and Brad Inwood, editors. Language and Learning: Philosophy of Language in the Hellenistic Age. Cambridge-New York: Cambridge University Press, 2005. Pp. xi + 353. Cloth, $90.00. This collection of papers on Hellenistic philosophy of language (...)
  36. The Oxyrhynchus Papyri. Part VI.B. P. Grenfell & A. S. Hunt - 1909 - Journal of Hellenic Studies 29:131.
  37. The Oxyrhynchus Papyri. Part V.B. P. Grenfell & A. S. Hunt - 1908 - Journal of Hellenic Studies 28:158.
  38. The Tebtunis Papyri. Part II.B. P. Grenfell & A. S. Hunt - 1907 - Journal of Hellenic Studies 27:304.
  39. The Hibeh Papyri. Part I.B. P. Grenfell & A. S. Hunt - 1906 - Journal of Hellenic Studies 26:290.
  40. The Oxyrhynchus Papyri. Part IV.B. P. Grenfell & A. S. Hunt - 1904 - Journal of Hellenic Studies 24:339.
  41. The Tebtunis Papyri, Part I.B. P. Grenfell, A. S. Hunt & J. G. Smyly - 1903 - Journal of Hellenic Studies 23:206.
  42. The Oxyrhynchus Papyri. Part XII.Bernard P. Grenfell & Arthur S. Hunt - 1918 - Journal of Hellenic Studies 38:194.
  43. Oxyrhynchus Papyri VI.Grenfell-Hunt Grenfell-Hunt - 1908 - Classical World: A Quarterly Journal on Antiquity 2:119.
  44. Stoicismo, Epicureismo E Letteratura.Alberto Grilli - 1992
  45. La Natura Vivente.A. Guerritore - 1987 - Studium 83 (4-5):599-615.
  46. Icks, R. D.: Stoic and Epicurean. [REVIEW]Hadzsits Hadzsits - 1913 - Classical World: A Quarterly Journal on Antiquity 7:157-159.
  47. Stoic and Epicurean Philosophers.A. L. Hammond - 1940 - Classical World: A Quarterly Journal on Antiquity 34:202-203.
  48. Stoic and Epicurean.Robert Drew Hicks - 1910 - New York: Russell & Russell.
  49. Dynamic Reading: Studies in the Reception of Epicureanism.Brooke Holmes & W. H. Shearin - 2012 - Oup Usa.
    Dynamic Reading examines the reception history of Epicureanism in the West, focusing in particular on the ways in which it has provided conceptual tools for defining how we read and respond to texts, art, and the world more generally.
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  50. The Cambridge History of Hellenistic Philosophy.G. L. Huxley - 2001 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 9 (2):247-260.
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