What do we really need in order to live a happy life? An Epicurean antidote to anxiety
Over two thousand years ago the Greek philosopher Epicurus offered a seemingly simple answer: all we really want is pleasure.
Today we tend to associate the word 'Epicurean' with the enjoyment of fine food and wine and decadent self-indulgence. But, as philosopher John Sellars shows, these things are a world away from the vision of a pleasant life developed by Epicurus and his followers who were more concerned with mental pleasures and avoiding pain. Their goal, in short, was a life of tranquillity.
In this uplifting and elegant book, Sellars walks us through the history of Epicureanism from a private garden on the edge of ancient Athens to the streets of Rome, showing us how it can help us think anew about joy, friendship, nature and being alive in the world.
Not only an excellent introduction to the history of Epicurean philosophy, but also a helpful guide to facing the manifold anxieties of modern life
Lucid and scholarly
Many have sought therapeutic remedies for anxiety and insomnia as well as advice on how to feel happier. Some ancient Mediterranean answers to such psychological issues can be found in John Sellars's little book. . . Epicureanism can ease contemporary worries, Sellars believes; in some ways it resembles cognitive behavioural therapy
In this brief and eloquent book, John Sellars takes us through the basic arguments of Epicureanism with wonderful clarity, distilling the essence of an ancient philosophy that speaks with increasing urgency to our troubled times. It is an exemplary guide, and I recommend it enthusiastically to readers of all ages and all walks of life.