The Oxford Handbook of Epicurus and Epicureanism

Phillip Mitsis

Research output: Book/ReportBook


The ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus (340–271 bce), though often despised for his materialism, hedonism, and denial of the immortality of the soul, has at the same time been an ongoing source of inspiration for a great variety of subsequent philosophers, poets, and political thinkers. This volume offers authoritative discussions of all aspects of Epicurus’s philosophy and then traces out some of its most important later influences throughout the Western intellectual tradition. Epicurean arguments are carefully placed in their ancient and subsequent intellectual contexts, thus offering readers the opportunity of measuring them against a wide range of opponents—from Platonists, Aristotelians, and Stoics, to Hegel and Nietzsche, and finally on to such influential contemporary philosophers as Thomas Nagel, Bernard Williams, and Jacques Derrida. The volume offers separate and detailed discussions of two fascinating and ongoing sources of Epicurean arguments, the Herculaneum papyri and the inscription of Diogenes of Oenoanda, both of which are continually enriching our understanding of Epicureanism. Contributors have been able to make ample use of this new evidence in presenting the most current understanding of Epicurus’s own views. By the same token, the second half of the volume is devoted to the extraordinary influence of Epicurean doctrines, often either neglected or misunderstood, in literature, political thought, scientific innovation, and in philosophy generally. Taken together, the contributions in this volume offer the most comprehensive and detailed account of Epicurus and Epicureanism available in Eng
Original languageEnglish (US)
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages848
ISBN (Print)ISBN: 9780199744213
StatePublished - Jul 17 2020


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