Epicurus for Everyone: aim and contents

Epicurus for Everyone, published at the end of 2011, contains twenty-four short essays in which I seek to illustrate the practical relevance of Epicurean philosophy. The aim is stated in the Foreword (p. v):

The aim is threefold, to show that widely accepted views about life and the universe are often misguided, that a willingness to develop an improved philosophy of life is essential for survival and well-being, and that Epicurean philosophy offers ideas of vital importance for cop­ing with life’s challenges responsibly and effectively.

The essays are organised under the following section and chapter headings:

INTRODUCTION: 1 Rediscovering Practical Wisdom; 2 The Life and Times of Epicurus; 3 Handing on the Torch of Life; 4 Epicureanism and the Scientific Revolution.

UNDERSTANDING THE UNIVERSE: 5 Epicurus and Epicureanism; 6 Atoms and Origins; 7 New Worlds Will Arise; 8 The Four-Part Remedy.

PLEASURE AND HAPPINESS: 9 The Pleasure Principle; 10 Happiness in the Here and Now; 11 Thinking Strategically; 12 Utilitarianism.

FRIENDSHIP AND COMMUNITY: 13 The Need for Friendship; 14 Living Inconspicuously; 15 The Golden Rule; 16 Friendship and Philosophy.

LIFE AND DEATH: 17 Is Death an Evil? 18 The Deceptiveness of Platonism; 19 Nature and Scripture; 20 Living within the Limits of Nature.

PERSONAL AND SOCIAL TRANSFORMATION: 21 A Sense of Entitlement; 22 Lack of a Moral Centre; 23 We Become Like Those Whom We Admire; 24 The Need for Philosophical Conversion.

The essays are followed by extensive notes and bibliographical notes, and a short index.

Comments and corrections are invited and will be taken into account in the compilation of any future editions and subsequent collections of essays. Readers may like to discuss issues via the Philosophical Garden website by way of comments on the present blog entry or on future entries relating to individual topics.

Stuart R. Pickering, Epicurus for Everyone, Ashfield NSW, Barley Cake Press, 2011; for ordering information and enquiries see www.writersandebooks.com.
Errata: p. 57 (chap. 23), 1st para., delete superfluous ‘are’; p. 72 (Bibliographical Notes, 1. Rediscovering Practical Wisdom), 2nd line, for De Witt read DeWitt.

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