Epicure - La voix de la nature

Epicurus - The voice of nature

Presentation of the doctrine of Epicurus completed with a selection of texts.

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Wisdom and spirituality

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Epicure - La voix de la nature

Epicure - La voix de la nature

Presentation of the doctrine of Epicurus completed with a selection of texts.

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It is impossible to live a happy life without living a considered, honest and fair life, nor to live a considered, honest and fair life without living a happy life.” Epicurus has for a long time been presented as a minor philosopher. Nevertheless, his school remained active in a number of countries, including Gaul where it operated for 500 years. This small book, written by a renowned Hellenist, introduces us to the wisdom of Epicurus, stripping it of received ideas. For this philosopher, to gain wisdom is to gain the happiness of the gods, which is within the reach of all people. Happiness is first acquired through the bonds of friendship that we forge. The disciples of Epicurus shared in his daily life and participated in the development of his doctrine; his school was a living community, open to women, slaves and foreigners without prejudice or distinction. Knowledge of nature’s laws is part of what makes up a happy life: for Epicurus, nothing is borne out of nothing, everything that there is relies on the existence of an infinite void and an infinite number of atoms. Ultimately, he proposes a code of ethics based on pleasure free of concern and fear, pleasure conceived as the absence of pain and loss, which is incumbent upon a considered, honest and fair attitude. This presentation of the doctrine of Epicurus is completed by a selection of texts: the Vatican Sayings, with accompanying commentary by Renée Koch Piettre, the letter to Menoeceus on happiness, the letter to Herodotus on the laws of the universe, extracts of his letters to friends and family.

Table of contents

Introduction - A model life in turmoil: Dying happy - A salvific method - The life of Epicurus - Teaching in the Garden - Not school, but living together - Safety at the eye of the storm. Physics in the discovery of serenity: Choose the words to tell the truth. The example of the eidôla - How we think the truth. Criteria - How mistakes are made and how to avoid them. Logical inferences - Adêla, the non-manifest. Atoms, void, infinite - The evidence of sensitivity - How to describe the minima - The nature of the soul - Properties, accidents and nature. The nature of astral bodies: they are not gods - Covering (the doctrine of) nature at the speed of thought.
Happiness within man’s reach: Follow pleasure, avoid pain - A free thinker? - The teachings of the Letter to Menoeceus. Anthology: The Vatican Sayings - Extracts of his letters to friends and family - Letter to Herodotus - Letter to Menoeceus. Chronological references - Bibliography


Number of pages
Type of book
12 x 19

Wisdom and spirituality

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