A Life Worthy of the Gods

A Life Worthy of the Gods : The Materialist Psychology of Epicurus

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Epicurus, and his Roman disciple Lucretius, held that the primary cause of human unhappiness was an irrational fear of death. What is more, they believed that a clear understanding of the nature of the world would help to eliminate this fear; for if we recognize that the universe and everything in it is made up of atoms and empty space, we will see that the soul cannot possibly survive the extinction of the body-and no harm to us can occur after we die. This liberating insight is at the core of Epicurean therapy. In this book, Konstan seeks to show how such fears arose, according to the Epicureans, and why they persist even in modern societies. It offers a close examination of the basic principles of Epicurean psychology: showing how a system based on a materialistic world view could provide a coherent account of irrational anxieties and desires, and provide a therapy that would allow human beings to enjoy life to the fullest degree.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 196 pages
  • 150 x 226 x 22mm | 340.19g
  • Parmenides Publishing
  • Las Vegas, United States
  • English
  • 1930972288
  • 9781930972285
  • 1,006,841

Review quote

"David Konstan attempts to flesh out the Epicurean explanation of the causes of unhappiness: "empty beliefs" (kenodoxia)-most importantly, the groundless fear of death-and the irrational desires that fuel and are fueled by them". - JHPshow more

About David Konstan

David Konstan received his B.A. in Mathematics and his Ph.D. in Classics at Columbia University. He is currently the John Rowe Workman Distinguished Professor of Classics and the Humanistic Tradition, Professor in Comparative Literature, as well as a member of the Graduate Faculty of Theatre, Speech, and Dance at Brown University. His books include: Roman Comedy (1983); Sexual Symmetry: Love in the Ancient Novel and Related Genres (1994); Greek Comedy and Ideology (1995); Friendship in the Classical World (1997); Euripides' Cyclops, introduction and notes by Konstan (2001); Pity Transformed (2001); and The Emotions of the Ancient Greeks (2006).show more