About this topic
Summary Epicurus (341-271 BCE) was one of the most influential Hellenistic philosophers. He revived the atomism of Democritus and rejected 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. Epicurus' 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. Epicurus' 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. Many of Epicurus' philosophical views must be gleaned from the works of later philosophers,such as Lucretius and Cicero. 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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  1. added 2019-06-07
    Hermannus Usener: Glossarium Epicureum. [REVIEW]C. W. Chilton - 1979 - The Classical Review 29 (2):322-323.
  2. added 2019-06-07
    Die Prolepsislehre Epikurs. [REVIEW]A. A. Long - 1976 - The Classical Review 26 (1):134-135.
  3. added 2019-06-07
    Zur Lehre von den Götterbildern in der Epikureischen Philosophie. [REVIEW]G. B. Kerferd - 1955 - The Classical Review 5 (2):199-200.
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    Epikur von der Überwindung der Furcht. [REVIEW]Cyril Bailey - 1951 - The Classical Review 1 (1):52-52.
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    Epicuro: Opere, Frammenti, Testimonianze Sulla Sua Vita. Tradotti Con Introduzione E Commento da Ettore Bignone. One Volume. 8vo. Pp. X+272. Bari: Laterza E Figli, 1920. L. 15.50. [REVIEW]R. G. Bury - 1920 - The Classical Review 34 (7-8):182-182.
  6. added 2019-06-07
    Das Leben Und Die Lehre Epikurs. [REVIEW]C. M. E. - 1916 - The Classical Review 30 (2):62-62.
  7. added 2019-06-06
    Live Unnoticed : On the Vicissitudes of an Epicurean Doctrine. [REVIEW]Pamela Gordon - 2010 - Ancient Philosophy 30 (1):198-203.
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    Diogenes Laertius: Vitae Philosophorum. Vol. III. Indices. [REVIEW]Jonathan Barnes - 2004 - The Classical Review 54 (2):568-569.
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    Atome Et Nécessité. Démocrite, Épicure, Lucrèce. [REVIEW]Richard Dufour - 2002 - Dialogue 41 (3):591-593.
    L'objectif de la collection «Philosophies» est de faciliter l'accès à une œuvre ou à un thème philosophique. Dans ses publications, elle vise le grand public et non une poignée de spécialistes. C'est une caractéristique qu'il faut garder en tête lorsque nous abordons le présent livre de Pierre-Marie Morel. En effet, la présentation de l'atomisme qu'il nous offre n'entre pas dans tous les détails et évite les grandes controverses. Les discussions trop pointues cèdent la place à une explication d'ensemble mettant en (...)
  10. added 2019-06-06
    Stoics, Epicureans and Sceptics: An Introduction to Hellenistic Philosophy. [REVIEW]Robert J. Rabel - 1998 - Ancient Philosophy 18 (1):199-201.
  11. added 2019-06-06
    Essays on Hellenistic Epistemology and Ethics.Gisela Striker (ed.) - 1996 - Cambridge University Press.
    The doctrines of the Hellenistic Schools - Epicureans, Stoics, and Sceptics - are known to have had a formative influence on later thought, but because the primary sources are lost, they have to be reconstructed from later reports. This important collection of essays by one of the foremost interpreters of Hellenistic philosophy focuses on key questions in epistemology and ethics debated by Greek and Roman philosophers of the Hellenistic period. There is currently a new awareness of the great interest and (...)
  12. added 2019-06-06
    Papers in Hellenistic Philosophy.Jonathan Barnes, Jacques Brunschwig & Janet Lloyd - 1996 - Philosophical Review 105 (1):108.
    “Review a friend’s book? Surely that’s not done: magis amica, no doubt, veritas—but friendship stops the critic’s nose for truth and smoothes his tongue to bland civilities.” But here there’s not the smallest risk of fudge; for here the most exacting reader will heap up superlatives. In truth, you’ll meet no finer work on Hellenistic thought than what’s between the covers of this book.
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    Passions and Perceptions: Studies in Hellenistic Philosophy of Mind. [REVIEW]Richard Bett - 1995 - Ancient Philosophy 15 (1):283-286.
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    "Hellenistic Philosophy of Mind", by Julia E. Annas. [REVIEW]Richard Bett - 1994 - Ancient Philosophy 14 (1):192.
  15. added 2019-06-06
    Περίληψις in Epicurean Epistemology.David Konstan - 1993 - Ancient Philosophy 13 (1):125.
  16. added 2019-06-06
    Atoms, Pneuma, and Tranquillity: Epicurean and Stoic Themes in European Thought. [REVIEW]Jonathan Barnes - 1992 - The Classical Review 42 (2):488-489.
  17. added 2019-06-06
    "Hellenistic Philosophy: Introductory Readings". Translated with Introduction and Notes, by Brad Inwood and L.P. Gerson. [REVIEW]Robert J. Rabel - 1991 - Ancient Philosophy 11 (1):225.
  18. added 2019-06-06
    "The Epicurean Tradition", by Howard Jones. [REVIEW]Phillip De Lacy - 1991 - Ancient Philosophy 11 (1):199.
  19. added 2019-06-06
    "Hellenistic Philosophy: Stoics, Epicureans, Sceptics". Second Edition, by A.A. Long. [REVIEW]Alexander Dalzell - 1989 - Ancient Philosophy 9 (1):131.
  20. added 2019-06-06
    The Hellenistic Philosophers: Volume 1, Translations of the Principal Sources with Philosophical Commentary.A. A. Long & D. N. Sedley - 1987 - Cambridge University Press.
    Volume 1 presents the texts in new translations by the authors, and these are accompanied by a philosophical and historical commentary designed for use by all readers, including those with no background in the classical world. With its glossary and indexes, this volume can stand alone as an independent tool of study.
  21. added 2019-06-06
    Diskin Clay, "Lucretius and Epicurus". [REVIEW]Elizabeth Asmis - 1985 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 23 (3):424.
  22. added 2019-06-06
    Epicurean Political Philosophy: The. [REVIEW]R. J. - 1977 - Review of Metaphysics 30 (4):770-771.
    This small book explores the political thought of Lucretius, by analysing De rerum natura. Nichols does not move immediately to the last section of Book V, which discusses clearly political phenomena; rather he locates that section within the place it has in the entire poem. Writing in the Straussian tradition, Nichols analyses not only the sections of the poem relevant to the political enterprise, but discusses the form and movement of the poem as a whole. Chapter 1 asks how we (...)
  23. added 2019-06-06
    Some Aspects of Epicurean Psychology. [REVIEW]R. J. - 1974 - Review of Metaphysics 27 (4):799-800.
    This small book presents a unified, sequential examination of a central theme in Epicurean philosophy: the nature of "irrational fears and desires." Their place in a distinctly practical philosophy, whose avowed intentions were the removal of fear and the cultivation of a securely arranged, pleasant, undisturbed life, must be examined. If security and static pleasures are the standards which the Epicurean sage recognizes as attainable in principle, what accounts for their absence from the lives of the masses? The first chapter, (...)
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    The Unpopularity of Epicurean Materialism: An Interpretation of Lucretius.Harry Neumann - 1968 - Modern Schoolman 45 (4):299-311.
  25. added 2019-06-06
    Two Studies in Greek Philosophy. [REVIEW]G. B. Kerferd - 1963 - The Classical Review 13 (2):192-193.
  26. added 2019-06-06
    PACKER, Cicero's Presentation of Epicurean Ethics.Rose Johns - 1939 - Classical Weekly 33 (5):55.
  27. added 2019-06-06
    Ein Neuer Brief Epikurs Wiederhergestellt Und Erklärt. [REVIEW]Cyril Bailey - 1934 - The Classical Review 48 (2):87-87.
  28. added 2019-06-03
    Ataraxia: Happiness as Tranquillity.Gisela Striker - 1990 - The Monist 73 (1):97-110.
    In this paper I would like to examine a conception of happiness that seems to have become popular after the time of Plato and Aristotle: tranquillity or, as one might also say, peace of mind. This conception is interesting for two reasons: first, because it seems to come from outside the tradition that began with Plato or Socrates, second, because it is the only conception of eudaimonia in Greek ethics that identifies happiness with a state of mind and makes it (...)
  29. added 2019-05-31
    Epicureanism About Death and Immortality.John Martin Fischer - 2006 - The Journal of Ethics 10 (4):355-381.
    In this paper I discuss some of Martha Nussbaum's defenses of Epicurean views about death and immortality. Here I seek to defend the commonsense view that death can be a bad thing for an individual against the Epicurean; I also defend the claim that immortality might conceivably be a good thing. In the development of my analysis, I make certain connections between the literatures on free will and death. The intersection of these two literatures can be illuminated by reference to (...)
  30. added 2019-05-29
    Epicurean Psychology and Theology - David Konstan: Some Aspects of Epicurean Psychology. Pp. X + 83. Leiden: Brill, 1973. Paper, Fl. 28. - Dietrich Lemke: Die Theologie Epikurs. Versuch Einer Rekonstruktion. Pp. 118. Munich: C.H. Beck, 1973. Paper, DM.25.50. [REVIEW]A. A. Long - 1976 - The Classical Review 26 (2):215-217.
  31. added 2019-05-27
    The Pleasures of Reason in Plato, Aristotle, and the Hellenistic Hedonists, Written by James Warren. [REVIEW]Emily Austin - 2017 - Polis 34 (1):168-171.
  32. added 2019-05-27
    Epicureans on Marriage as Sexual Therapy.Kelly E. Arenson - 2016 - Polis 33 (2):291-311.
  33. added 2019-05-27
    Philosophy as Therapeia: Volume 66.Clare Carlisle & Jonardon Ganeri (eds.) - 2010 - Cambridge University Press.
    'Empty are the words of that philosopher who offers therapy for no human suffering. For just as there is no use in medical expertise if it does not give therapy for bodily diseases, so too there is no use in philosophy if it does not expel the suffering of the soul.' The philosopher Epicurus gave famous voice to a conception of philosophy as a cure or remedy for the maladies of the human soul. What has not until now received attention (...)
  34. added 2019-05-27
    Psychic Disharmony: Philoponus and Epicurus on Plato's Phaedo.James Warren - 2006 - In David Sedley (ed.), Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy Xxx: Summer 2006. Oxford University Press.
  35. added 2019-05-27
    Matter, Medicine, and the Mind: Asclepiades Vs. Epicurus.Roberto Polito - 2006 - In David Sedley (ed.), Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy Xxx: Summer 2006. Oxford University Press.
  36. added 2019-05-27
    Utility and Justice: Epicurus and the Epicurean Tradition.F. Rosen - 2002 - Polis: The Journal for Ancient Greek Political Thought 19 (1-2):93-107.
  37. added 2019-05-27
    Epicurus and the Pleasures of the Future.James Warren - 2001 - In David Sedley (ed.), Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy Volume Xxi: Winter 2001. Clarendon Press.
  38. added 2019-05-24
    Psychological Universals in the Study of Happiness: From Social Psychology to Epicurean Philosophy.Sasha S. Euler - 2019 - Science, Religion and Culture 6 (1):130-137.
    Within the framework of Positive Psychology and Needing Theories, this article reviews cultural practices or perceptions regarding what happiness is and how it can be achieved. Mainly research on Subjective Well-Being (SWB) has identified many cultural differences in the pursuit of happiness, often described as East-West splits along categories such as highly expressed affect vs. quiet affect, self-assertion vs. conformity to social norms, independence vs. interdependence and the like. However, it is the overall goal of this article to show that (...)
  39. added 2019-05-23
    Epicurus' Swerve - W. G. Englert: Epicurus on the Swerve and Voluntary Action. Pp. X + 215; 5 Diagrams in the Text. Atlanta, Georgia: Scholars Press, 1987. $21.95 , Paper, $12.95. [REVIEW]Trevor J. Saunders - 1988 - The Classical Review 38 (2):284-286.
  40. added 2019-05-23
    The Justice of the Epicurean Wise Man.P. A. Vander Waerdt - 1987 - Classical Quarterly 37 (2):402-422.
  41. added 2019-05-17
    The Ethical Significance of Gratitude in Epicureanism.Benjamin A. Rider - forthcoming - British Journal for the History of Philosophy:1-21.
    ABSTRACTMany texts in the Epicurean tradition mention gratitude but do not explicitly explain its function in Epicurean ethics. I review passages that mention or discuss gratitude and ingratitude and consider what they have to say about its importance for a good Epicurean life. I argue that, for Epicureans, gratitude functions as something like a virtue, developed as a disposition of character through regular reflection and practice, that focuses attention on present goods, consolidates memories of past pleasures, and thus provides resources (...)
  42. added 2019-05-13
    A Sociology of Ethics - J. M. Bryant: Moral Codes and Social Structure in Ancient Greece: A Sociology of Greek Ethics From Homer to the Epicureans and Stoics . Pp. Xvi + 575. Albany: State University of New York, 1996. ISBN: 0-7914-3041-3. [REVIEW]Christopher Gill - 1998 - The Classical Review 48 (1):87-89.
  43. added 2019-05-06
    Präliminarien Zu Einem Ethos-Projekt-Teil 3.Peter Blomen - 2018 - Topologik : Rivista Internazionale di Scienze Filosofiche, Pedagogiche e Sociali 23 (1).
    In the third part of the Ethos project, I focus solely on the question: “What does ancient philosophy teach us?”. I refer to ways to wisdom brought to us by the important representatives of philosophical schools. It seemed to make sense to start with the Greek triumvirate Socrates-Plato-Aristotle, inasmuch as these wise men have taught us philosophy as a way of life, based on the need to adopt a morally grounded existence in our choice of life. Then I introduce various (...)
  44. added 2019-05-06
    Warren Facing Death. Epicurus and His Critics. Pp. X + 240. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2004. Cased, £30. ISBN: 0-19-925289-0. [REVIEW]John Martin Fischer - 2006 - The Classical Review 56 (1):67-69.
  45. added 2019-05-06
    O'Keefe Epicurus on Freedom. Pp. X + 175. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005. Cased, £45, US$70. ISBN: 0-521-84696-X. [REVIEW]James Warren - 2006 - The Classical Review 56 (2):313-315.
  46. added 2019-04-29
    Cicero and Epicurus - Maso Capire e dissentire. Cicerone e la filosofia di Epicuro. Pp. ii + 366. Naples: Bibliopolis, 2008. Paper, €40. ISBN: 978-88-7088-549-1. [REVIEW]Malcolm Schofield - 2010 - The Classical Review 60 (2):438-439.
  47. added 2019-04-15
    Attila Németh, Epicurus on the Self, Routledge, London-New York, 2017, 205 P., ISBN 978-1-138-63385-8 [Hbk], £ 105Epicurus on the Self. [REVIEW]Francesco Verde - 2018 - Rhizomata 6 (2):236-244.
  48. added 2019-03-18
    Marx’s Discussion About the AtomicDeflection of Epicurus.玥斐 潘 - 2019 - Advances in Philosophy 8 (1):7-12.
  49. added 2019-02-25
    Once Again on Epicurus’ Letter to Herodotus §§ 39–40.Francesco Verde - 2018 - Classical Quarterly 68 (2):736-739.
  50. added 2019-02-02
    Mort (Entrée Grand Public, L'Encyclopédie Philosophique).Federico Lauria - 2019 - L'Encyclopédie Philosophique.
    La mort nous afflige, nous angoisse, voire nous terrifie. Qu’est-ce que la mort ? La tristesse et l’angoisse face à la mort sont-elles justifiées ? La mort est-elle un mal ? Vaudrait-il mieux être immortel ? Comment comprendre le deuil ? Cette entrée propose un aperçu des questions principales de la philosophie contemporaine de la mort. Tentons de sonder l’énigme la plus tragique de la vie.
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