Elemental Epicureanism - contemporary Epicurean philosophers reinstate the teaching mission of the ancient Gardens

I am sharing this for the benefit of those who may be interested in acquainting themselves with the (true, not the imputed) teachings of Epicurus, as Thomas Jefferson said in his epistle to William Short.  It's an effort of the webmaster of the webpage newepicurean.com: 

http://elementalepicureanism.com

Elemental Epicureanism goes into the three foundations of an ancient Epicurean education (Canon, Physics and Ethics).  The Canon explains the epistemology (or theory of thinking and how to properly apprehend reality using our faculties of perception), the physics (on the true nature of things for us materialist philosophers) and the ethics (how to properly live a good and healthy, wholesome life) as was instructed by Epicurus and his followers (the four founders, Philodemus, Lucretius, Thomas Jefferson, and us in the modern school).

It's particularly useful in our day and age to be able to discern between wholesome philosophy and what passes for it (Randian objectivism, a ruling-class-sponsored ideology which is increasingly infiltrating academia under the auspices of multi-billionaires like the Koch brothers, and theology-tinged varieties of philosophy among the religious).  We in the materialist tradition believe that if philosophy is not rooted in the study of nature, it becomes divorced from reality and is mere speculation.  Epicurean doctrine is practical and creates value and meaning from the immediacy of direct experience (enargeia, in Greek).

Keep in mind that there has not been formal Epicurean teaching available for over 1,500 years.  A Roman Emperor banned all the philosophical schools that competed with Christianity in the 6th Century, and so the availability of organized coursework of this kind represents a turning of the tide of history, and I advise you (whether you end up agreeing with Epicurean teachings fully or partially or not at all) to take advantage of the availability of this material.

For a shorter and less technical introduction to Epicurus, you may read That Old Time Secularism.  Also, you may visit societyofepicurus.com for more on the contemporary practice of Epicureanism.

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A recent book on the subject of Epicurus which I enjoyed reading was The Swerve: How the World Became Modern by Stephen Greenblatt. It's a good introduction and a very readable account as well as a nice story of the rediscovery of the book of Lucretius, On the Nature of Things, in which the philosophy of Epicurus is given in Latin verse.

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