“Why Epicureanism, not Stoicism, is the philosophy we need right now”

File:Rubens The Feast of Achelous 1615.JPG

Professor Catherine Wilson offers a concise argument in favor of the Epicurean perspective:

Rightly understood, philosophical Epicureanism is a politically and personally powerful world-view that belies its caricatures. Its key elements are an unflinching refusal to believe that spiritual entities designed, created or control the world combined with the conviction that death and irreversible decomposition into material atoms is the end for each living being.

Epicureans contend that mortality has to be faced without futile struggles, protests or wails of tragedy. Meanwhile, the joy, not only of the philosopher, but of all of us, is to be found in experience, including the experience of coming to understand how nature and society actually work. Death puts an end to these pleasures, but, as the Epicureans were fond of pointing out, we will not be around to experience the deprivation.

Leave a Comment