The Epicurean Way of Life

According to the common view, an “Epicurean” is someone who over-indulges on sensuous pleasures, and so lives the high life. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, the highest pleasure for the men and women who lived in the frugal commune founded by Epicurus in about 307 BCE was to be free from bodily pain and mental disturbance. “The Epicurean” but not “the epicurean!”way of life is actually an appealingly simple and optimistic approach to a happy life, and it also includes intriguing views about the universe and our place in it. In this talk, we will discuss some of the central themes of Epicurean philosophy, and explore how we can integrate its insights in our lives today.

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Peter is a philosophical practitioner with more than fifteen years experience in higher and continuing education. For Oxford University and the Open University, he teaches a broad range of philosophical topics, yet his main interest is in ancient philosophy. When working, he is keen to raise awareness for the idea that philosophy is, or can be, a useful tool for reflecting on our everyday lives, and so for helping us to live well. Peter holds a PhD in philosophy and is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

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