"No one is too young or too old to know what happiness is."This is how the way to happiness begins according to Epicurus, the famous founder of one of the most important schools of thought of the Hellenistic and Roman age. Happiness, which individuals yearn so much for, becomes something really easy to get. In this "Letter on happiness" Epicurus reflects on the real meaning of happiness and then reveals you how you can achieve it . You can read and read to it again, with a smile on your face ! ☺ Translated by Alessandra Bottacin
Epicureanism has been diluted into a byword for gourmet dining, but does the original ancient Greek 'philosophy of the Garden' contain insight that could save the world? Luke Slattery argues that reading Epicurus could help us rethink our materialist ways and challenge the inevitability of man-made climate change. Rather than appealing to altruism, or calling for revolution in the global economy, the Epicurean philosophy turns the developed world's credo of 'greed is good' on its head, counselling that genuine happiness comes from the quieting of desire; from less, not more. And that might just be the mindset we need to rein in unsustainable development. In this thoughtful Penguin Special, Slattery traces the radicalism of classical Epicurean thought, and its popularity despite political suppression. Along the way, he tours the archaeological sites of the ancient village of Oinoanda in Turkey and the Villa of the Papyri, buried along with Pompeii, with its ancient library of petrified scrolls. Might some of this treasure's fragments, painstakingly restored, reveal answers to the big questions faced in the twenty-first century?
Epicureanism is commonly associated with a carefree view of life and the pursuit of pleasures, particularly the pleasures of the table. However it was a complex and distinctive system of philosophy that emphasized simplicity and moderation, and considered nature to consist of atoms and the void. Epicureanism is a school of thought whose legacy continues to reverberate today. In this Very Short Introduction, Catherine Wilson explains the key ideas of the School, comparing them with those of the rival Stoics and with Kantian ethics, and tracing their influence on the development of scientific and political thought from Locke, Newton, and Galileo to Rousseau, Marx, Bentham, and Mill. She discusses the adoption and adaptation of Epicurean motifs in science, morality, and politics from the 17th Century onwards and contextualises the significance of Epicureanism in modern life. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Michael Onfray passionately defends the potential of hedonism to resolve the dislocations and disconnections of our melancholy age. In a sweeping survey of history's engagement with and rejection of the body, he exposes the sterile conventions that prevent us from realizing a more immediate, ethical, and embodied life. He then lays the groundwork for both a radical and constructive politics of the body that adds to debates over morality, equality, sexual relations, and social engagement, demonstrating how philosophy, and not just modern scientism, can contribute to a humanistic ethics. Onfray attacks Platonic idealism and its manifestation in Judaic, Christian, and Islamic belief. He warns of the lure of attachment to the purportedly eternal, immutable truths of idealism, which detracts from the immediacy of the world and our bodily existence. Insisting that philosophy is a practice that operates in a real, material space, Onfray enlists Epicurus and Democritus to undermine idealist and theological metaphysics; Nietzsche, Bentham, and Mill to dismantle idealist ethics; and Palante and Bourdieu to collapse crypto-fascist neoliberalism. In their place, he constructs a positive, hedonistic ethics that enlarges on the work of the New Atheists to promote a joyful approach to our lives in this, our only, world.
Meditation is a form of mental exercise with numerous scientifically verified physical and psychological benefits. As meditation teacher Rick Heller shows, the benefits of the practice extend beyond the personal to enrich relationships with others, with one’s community, and with the world. In Secular Meditation, step-by-step instructions, personal stories, and provocative questions teach empathy for others, stress reduction, and the kind of in-the-moment living that fosters appreciation for life and resilience in the face of adversity. Heller simplifies what is often found mysterious, describing and providing detailed instructions for thirty-two different practices, ensuring that anyone can find the right one.
Penelope Anderson's original study changes our understanding both of the masculine Renaissance friendship tradition and of the private forms of women's friendship of the eighteenth century and after. It uncovers the latent threat of betrayal lurking within politicized classical and humanist friendship, showing its surprising resilience as a model for political obligation undone and remade. Incorporating authors from Cicero to Abraham Cowley and Margaret Cavendish to Mary Astell, the book focuses on two extraordinary women writers, the royalist Katherine Philips and the republican Lucy Hutchinson. And it explores the ways in which they appropriate the friendship tradition in order to address problems of conflicting allegiances in the English Civil Wars and Restoration. As Penelope Anderson suggests, their writings on friendship provide a new account of women's relation to public life, organized through textual exchange rather than bodily reproduction.
The Epicurean school of philosophy was one of the dominant philosophies of the Hellenistic period. Founded by Epicurus of Samos (century 341-270 BCE) it was characterized by an empiricist epistemology and a hedonistic ethics. This new introduction to Epicurus offers readers clear exposition of the central tenets of Epicurus' philosophy, with particular stress placed on those features that have enduring philosophical interest and where parallels can be drawn with debates in contemporary analytic philosophy. Part 1 of the book examines the fundamentals of Epicurus' metaphysics, including atoms and the void, emergent and sensible properties, cosmology, mechanistic biology, the nature and functioning of the mind, death, and freedom of action. Part 2 explores Epicurus' epistemology, including his arguments against scepticism and his ideas on sensations, preconceptions and feelings. The final part deals with Epicurus' ethics, exploring his arguments for hedonism, his distinctive conceptions of types of pleasure and desire, his belief in virtue, his notions of justice, friendship and his theology. O'Keefe provides extended exegesis of the arguments supporting Epicurus' positions, indicating their strengths and weaknesses, while showing the connections between the various parts of his philosophy and how Epicureanism hangs together as a whole.
This history of atomism, from Democritus to the recent discovery of the Higgs boson, chronicles one of the most successful scientific hypotheses ever devised. Originating separately in both ancient Greece and India, the concept of the atom persisted for centuries, despite often running afoul of conventional thinking. Until the twentieth century, no direct evidence for atoms existed. Today it is possible to actually observe atoms using a scanning tunneling microscope. In this book, physicist Victor J. Stenger makes the case that, in the final analysis, atoms and the void are all that exists. The book begins with the story of the earliest atomists - the ancient Greek philosophers Leucippus, Democritus, and Epicurus, and the Latin poet Lucretius. As the author notes, the idea of elementary particles as the foundation of reality had many opponents throughout history - from Aristotle to Christian theologians and even some nineteenth-century chemists and philosophers. While theists today accept that the evidence for the atomic theory of matter is overwhelming, they reject the atheistic implications of that theory. In conclusion, the author underscores the main point made throughout this work: the total absence of empirical facts and theoretical arguments to support the existence of any component to reality other than atoms and the void can be taken as proof beyond a reasonable doubt that such a component is nowhere to be found. From the Hardcover edition.
TABLE OF CONTENTS: Introduction The ancient biography of Epicurus The extant letters Ancient collections of maxims Doxographical reports The testimony of Cicero The testimony of Lucretius The polemic of Plutarch Short fragments and testimonia from known works: * From On Nature * From the Puzzles * From On the Goal * From the Symposium * From Against Theophrastus * Fragments of Epicurus' letters Short fragments and testimonia from uncertain works: * Logic and epistemology * Physics and theology * Ethics Index
GOD almighty first planted a garden: and indeed it is the purest of human pleasures. It is the greatest refreshment of the spirits of man; without which, buildings or palaces are but gross handy-works: and a man shall ever see, that when ages grow to civility or elegancy, men come to build stately, sooner than to garden finely, as if gardening were the greater perfection. from this Book
In this unique work, Henry Miller gives an utterly candid and self-revealing account of the reading he did during his formative years. Some writers attempt to conceal the literary influences which have shaped their thinking––but not Henry Miller. In The Books in My Life he shares the thrills of discovery that many kinds of books have brought to a keenly curious and questioning mind. Some of Miller’s favorite writers are the giants whom most of us revere––authors such as Dostoeyvsky, Boccaccio, Walt Whitman, James Joyce, Thomas Mann, Lao-Tse. To them he brings fresh and penetrating insights. But many are lesser-known figures: Krishnamurti, the prophet-sage; the French contemporaries Blaise Cendrars and Jean Giono; Richard Jeffries, who wrote The Story of My Heart; the Welshman John Cowper Powys; and scores of others. The Books in My Life contains some fine autobiographical chapters, too. Miller describes his boyhood in Brooklyn, when he devoured the historical stories of G. A. Henty and the romances of Rider Haggard. He tells of the men and women whom he regards as "living books": Lou Jacobs, W. E. B. DuBois, Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, and others. He offers his reminiscences of the New York Theatre in the early 1900’s––including plays such as Alias Jimmy Valentine and Nellie, the Beautiful Cloak Model. And finally, in Miller’s best vein of humor, he provides a satiric chapter on bathroom reading. In an appendix, Miller lists the hundred books that have influenced him most.
A major writer and a leading figure in the public life of Rome, Seneca (c. 4BC-AD 65) ranks among the most eloquent and influential masters of Latin prose. This selection explores his thoughts on philosophy and the trials of life. In the Consolation to Helvia he strives to offer solace to his mother, following his exile in AD 41, while On the Shortness of Life and On Tranquillity of Mind are lucid and compelling explorations of Stoic thought. Witty and self-critical, the Letters - written to his young friend Lucilius - explore Seneca's struggle to acquire philosophical wisdom. A fascinating insight into one of the greatest minds of Ancient Rome, these works inspired writers and thinkers including Montaigne, Rousseau, and Bacon, and continue to intrigue and enlighten.
Advice on achieving a fulfilling old age from one of the bestselling authors of Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar . . . After being advised by his dentist to get tooth implants, Daniel Klein decides to stick with his dentures and instead use the money to make a trip to the Greek island Hydra and discover the secrets of aging happily. Drawing on the inspiring lives of his Greek friends and philosophers ranging from Epicurus to Sartre, Klein uncovers the simple pleasures that are available late in life, as well as the refined pleasures that only a mature mind can fully appreciate. A travel book, a witty and accessible meditation, and an optimistic guide to living well, Travels with Epicurus is a delightful jaunt to the Aegean and through the terrain of old age that only a free spirit like Klein could lead.
“If you can't get to the High Line. . . this is the next best thing.” —The Washington Post Before it was restored, the High Line was an untouched, abandoned landscape overgrown with wildflowers. Today it’s a central plaza, a cultural center, a walkway, and a green retreat in a bustling city that is free for all to enjoy. This beautiful, dynamic garden was designed by Piet Oudolf, one of the world’s most extraordinary garden designers. Gardens of the High Line, by Piet Oudolf and Rick Darke, offers an in-depth view into the planting designs, plant palette, and maintenance of this landmark achievement. It reveals a four-season garden that is filled with native and exotic plants, drought-tolerant perennials, and grasses that thrive and spread. It also offers inspiration and advice on recreating its iconic, naturalistic style. Featuring stunning photographs by Rick Darke and an introduction by Robert Hammond, the founder of the Friends of the High Line, this large-trim, photo-driven book is a must-have gem of nature of design.
Addressing general readers as well as software practitioners, "Software and Mind" discusses the fallacies of the mechanistic ideology and the degradation of minds caused by these fallacies. Mechanism holds that every aspect of the world can be represented as a simple hierarchical structure of entities. But, while useful in fields like mathematics and manufacturing, this idea is generally worthless, because most aspects of the world are too complex to be reduced to simple hierarchical structures. Our software-related affairs, in particular, cannot be represented in this fashion. And yet, all programming theories and development systems, and all software applications, attempt to reduce real-world problems to neat hierarchical structures of data, operations, and features. Using Karl Popper's famous principles of demarcation between science and pseudoscience, the book shows that the mechanistic ideology has turned most of our software-related activities into pseudoscientific pursuits. Using mechanism as warrant, the software elites are promoting invalid, even fraudulent, software notions. They force us to depend on generic, inferior systems, instead of allowing us to develop software skills and to create our own systems. Software mechanism emulates the methods of manufacturing, and thereby restricts us to high levels of abstraction and simple, isolated structures. The benefits of software, however, can be attained only if we start with low-level elements and learn to create complex, interacting structures. Software, the book argues, is a non-mechanistic phenomenon. So it is akin to language, not to physical objects. Like language, it permits us to mirror the world in our minds and to communicate with it. Moreover, we increasingly depend on software in everything we do, in the same way that we depend on language. Thus, being restricted to mechanistic software is like thinking and communicating while being restricted to some ready-made sentences supplied by an elite. Ultimately, by impoverishing software, our elites are achieving what the totalitarian elite described by George Orwell in "Nineteen Eighty-Four" achieves by impoverishing language: they are degrading our minds.
J.T. Ismael's monograph is an ambitious contribution to metaphysics and the philosophy of language and mind. She tackles a philosophical question whose origin goes back to Descartes: What am I? The self is not a mere thing among things--but if so, what is it, and what is its relationship to the world? Ismael is an original and creative thinker who tries to understand our problematic concepts about the self and how they are related to our use of language in particular.
In her latest cookbook, Deborah Madison, America's leading authority on vegetarian cooking and author of Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, reveals the surprising relationships between vegetables, edible flowers, and herbs within the same botanical families, and how understanding these connections can help home cooks see everyday vegetables in new light. Destined to become the new standard reference for cooking vegetables, Vegetable Literacy, by revered chef Deborah Madison, shows cooks that vegetables within the same family, because of their shared characteristics, can be used interchangeably in cooking. For example, knowing that dill, chervil, cumin, parsley, coriander, anise, and caraway come from the umbellifer family makes it clear why they're such good matches for carrots, also an umbel. With stunning images from the team behind Canal House cookbooks and website, and 150 classic and exquisitely simple recipes, such as Savoy Cabbage on Rye Toast with GruyèreCheese; Carrots with Caraway Seed, Garlic, and Parsley; and Pan-fried Sunchokes with Walnut Sauce and Sunflower Sprouts; Madison brings this wealth of information together in dishes that highlight a world of complementary flavors.
Enhanced by Stephen Mitchell’s illuminating commentary, the next volume of the classic manual on the art of living The most widely translated book in world literature after the Bible, Lao-tzu’s Tao Te Ching, or Book of the Way, is the classic manual on the art of living. Following the phenomenal success of his own version of the Tao Te Ching, renowned scholar and translator Stephen Mitchell has composed the innovative The Second Book of the Tao. Drawn from the work of Lao-tzu’s disciple Chuang-tzu and Confucius’s grandson Tzussu, The Second Book of the Tao offers Western readers a path into reality that has nothing to do with Taoism or Buddhism or old or new alone, but everything to do with truth. Mitchell has selected the freshest, clearest teachings from these two great students of the Tao and adapted them into versions that reveal the poetry, depth, and humor of the original texts with a thrilling new power. Alongside each adaptation, Mitchell includes his own commentary, at once explicating and complementing the text. This book is a twenty-first-century form of ancient wisdom, bringing a new, homemade sequel to the Tao Te Ching into the modern world. Mitchell’s renditions are radiantly lucid; they dig out the vision that’s hiding beneath the words; they grab the text by the scruff of the neck—by its heart, really—and let its essential meanings fall out. The book introduces us to a cast of vivid characters, most of them humble artisans or servants, who show us what it means to be in harmony with the way things are. Its wisdom provides a psychological and moral acuity as deep as the Tao Te Ching itself. The Second Book of the Tao is a gift to contemporary readers, granting us access to our own fundamental wisdom. Mitchell’s meditations and risky reimagining of the original texts are brilliant and liberating, not least because they keep catching us off-guard, opening up the heavens where before we saw a roof. He makes the ancient teachings at once modern, relevant, and timeless. Listen to a special podcast with Stephen Mitchell:
Offering philosophical insights into the popular morning brew, Coffee -- Philosophy for Everyone kick starts the day with an entertaining but critical discussion of the ethics, aesthetics, metaphysics, and culture of coffee. Matt Lounsbury of pioneering business Stumptown Coffee discusses just how good coffee can be Caffeine-related chapters cover the ethics of the coffee trade, the metaphysics of coffee and the centrality of the coffee house to the public sphere Includes a foreword by Donald Schoenholt, President at Gillies Coffee Company
‘Disciples of Flora’ explores, through a variety of approaches, disciplines, and historical periods, the place and vitality of gardens as cultural objects, repositories of meaning, and sites for the construction of identity and subjectivity; gardens being an eminent locus where culture and nature meet. This collection of essays contributes to a revision of histories of gardens by broadening the scope of scholarly inquiry to include a long history from ancient Rome to the present, in which contesting memories delineate new apprehensions of topography and space. The contributors draw attention to alternative landscapes or gardening practices, while recalling the ways in which spaces have been invested with an affective dimension that has itself been historicized.
John Muir was an early proponent of a view we still hold today—that much of California was pristine, untouched wilderness before the arrival of Europeans. But as this groundbreaking book demonstrates, what Muir was really seeing when he admired the grand vistas of Yosemite and the gold and purple flowers carpeting the Central Valley were the fertile gardens of the Sierra Miwok and Valley Yokuts Indians, modified and made productive by centuries of harvesting, tilling, sowing, pruning, and burning. Marvelously detailed and beautifully written, Tending the Wild is an unparalleled examination of Native American knowledge and uses of California's natural resources that reshapes our understanding of native cultures and shows how we might begin to use their knowledge in our own conservation efforts. M. Kat Anderson presents a wealth of information on native land management practices gleaned in part from interviews and correspondence with Native Americans who recall what their grandparents told them about how and when areas were burned, which plants were eaten and which were used for basketry, and how plants were tended. The complex picture that emerges from this and other historical source material dispels the hunter-gatherer stereotype long perpetuated in anthropological and historical literature. We come to see California's indigenous people as active agents of environmental change and stewardship. Tending the Wild persuasively argues that this traditional ecological knowledge is essential if we are to successfully meet the challenge of living sustainably.
One of the best books ever written on one of humanity’s greatest epics, W. R. Johnson’s classic study of Vergil’s Aeneid challenges centuries of received wisdom. Johnson rejects the political and historical reading of the epic as a record of the glorious prehistory of Rome and instead foregrounds Vergil’s enigmatic style and questioning of the heroic myths. With an approach to the text that is both grounded in scholarship and intensely personal, and in a style both rhetorically elegant and passionate, Johnson offers readings of specific passages that are nuanced and suggestive as he focuses on the “somber and nourishing fictions” in Vergil’s poem. A timeless work of scholarship, Darkness Visible will enthrall classicists as well as students and scholars of the history of criticism—specifically the way in which politics influence modern readings of the classics—and of poetry and literature.
This book explores Cicero’s moral and political philosophy with great attention to his life and thought as a whole. The author “thinks through” Cicero with a close reading of his most important philosophical writings. Nicgorski often resolves apparent tensions in Cicero’s thought that have posed obstacles to the appreciation of his practical philosophy. Some of the major tensions confronted are those between his Academic skepticism and apparent Stoicism, between his commitment to philosophy and to politics, rhetoric and oratory, and between his attachment to Greek philosophy and his profound engagement in Roman culture. Moreover, the key theme within Cicero’s writings is his intended recovery, within his Roman context, of both the Socratic focus on great questions of practical philosophy and Socratic skepticism. Cicero’s recovery of Socratic political philosophy in Roman garb is then the basis for recovery of Cicero as a notable political thinker relevant to our time and its problems.