Epicureanism: The Basic Idea #119
Is it so hard to satisfy our senses?
Dear friends of Daily Philosophy,
welcome back to our year-long challenge to live and experience six theories of happiness within a year. After Aristotle’s Eudaimonia and Erich Fromm’s ideas for a new society, this month we will discuss and try out the theory of the ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus (341-270 BC).
What is happiness?
We have two months of posts to get to know Epicurus better, so today we will just try to get a very high-level understanding of what he wants to do with his theory — and we will see why this is still incredibly important for our lives two thousand years later. In fact, Epicureanism may be more necessary today than it ever was before in human history: Our modern version of capitalism has brought about exactly those conditions that Epicurus himself saw as the greatest obstacle to a truly happy life — and in this, Epicurus would readily agree with Fromm and also with Bertrand Russell, although their reasons to criticise modern life would be different.
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