Best Image Quotes from Epicurus The Art of Happiness Book

EPICURUS (341-271 B.C.) founded one of antiquity’s most influential philosophical schools, which focused on the pursuit of happiness. Born on the Greek island of Samas, he operated the Garden, devoted to philosophy and communal living, outside of Athens.

The Art of Happiness (Penguin Classics)
by Epicurus (Author), George K. Strodach (Translator, Introduction, Commentary), Daniel Klein (Foreword)

Epicurus The Art of Happiness Book  best quotes

Epicurus The Art of Happiness Book  best quotes

Epicurus The Art of Happiness Book  best quotes

Epicurus The Art of Happiness Book  best quotes

Epicurus The Art of Happiness Book  best quotes

Epicurus The Art of Happiness Book  best quotes

Epicurus The Art of Happiness Book  best quotes

Epicurus The Art of Happiness Book  best quotes

Epicurus The Art of Happiness Book  best quotes

Epicurus The Art of Happiness Book  best quotes

PURPOSE OF KNOWLEDGE. The purpose of all knowledge, metaphysical as well as scientific, is to achieve what Epicurus called ataraxia, freedom from irrational fears and anxieties of all sorts-in brief, peace of mind.
Epicurus  The Art of Happiness

Stranger, here you will do well to tarry; here our highest good is a pleasure. The caretaker of that abode, a kindly host, will be ready for you; he will welcome you with bread, and serve you water also in abundance, with these words: “Have you not been well entertained? This garden does not whet your appetite, but quenches it.”
Epicurus  The Art of Happiness

“Not what we have, but what we enjoy, constitutes our abundance “
Epicurus  The Art of Happiness

“Nothing is enough for the man to whom enough is too little.”
Epicurus  The Art of Happiness

A parallel requirement for Epicurean happiness is freedom from fear of nature and from punitive gods. In his magnificent opus inspired by the philosophy of Epicurus, The Nature of Things, the Roman poet Lucretius reserved some of his highest praise for Epicurus’s brave resistance to religious tradition and its superstitious interpretations of natural phenomena.
Epicurus  The Art of Happiness

When we gaze upon the heavenly tracts of the great cosmos above, and at ether set with its glittering stars, and we bethink us of the courses of sun and moon, a vexing question then begins to waken and rear its head in hearts already burdened with other cares: Is there perhaps a measureless power of gods over us, a power that wheels the dazzling constellations on their various courses? And an impoverished reason assails the mind with further doubts: Was there a beginning of the world, a genesis? And will there be an end? Until then will the ramparts of the world be able to endure this toil of ceaseless motion, or are they divinely endowed with everlasting health and the power to contemn the stout rigors of eternity as they slip along the endless current of time? [Luer. 5 . 1204-1 7]
Epicurus  The Art of Happiness

. SPACE AND ATOMS ARE INFINITE. As for space, “the totality of things is unlimited because anything limited has an endpoint and this endpoint is seen against something else. But the totality, having no endpoint, has no limit and, having no limit, it must be infinite and without boundaries.” 13 This argument is reduced to imagery by Lucretius: Suppose an imaginary javelin is hurled outward at the edge of an imaginary finite universe-what happens? Either something blocks its flight and prevents it from completing its trajectory, or “it is borne outward.” In the first case, which blocks it must be something in space beyond the supposed end of space, and in the second case, it obviously moves into outer space. And the experiment may be repeated indefinitely “wherever you place the outer bounds.”
Epicurus  The Art of Happiness

In this context I also desire you to recognize that when the atomic bodies are borne straight down through the void of their own weight, they deviate a bit from the perpendicular at quite unpredictable times and places, but only enough for one to say that their course of motion has been altered. If they were not in the habit of swerving thus, they would all keep raining down through the vastness of the void like water drops, and on occasion would present itself for them to collide and strike together-with the result that nature would have wrought nothing. [Luer. 2.2 1 6-24]
Epicurus The Art of Happiness

What should we consider as having greater validity than sensation? Will reasoning that takes its rise from “false” sensation have the power to contradict the senses when it originates wholly from them? If they are not true, all reasoning likewise becomes false. [Luer. 4.482-85)40
Epicurus  The Art of Happiness

Epicurus as a moral empiricist felt that our immediate feelings are far more cogent and authoritative guides to the good life than abstract maxims, verbal indoctrination, or even the voice of reason itself. Hence he based his ethics on nature, not on the convention or on reason.
Epicurus  The Art of Happiness

The Epicureans with good reason saw a direct correlation between religious superstition and ignorance of natural processes, and in their humanitarian zeal to purge away “the terror in the souls of men” they struck to the heart of the matter with their most powerful weapon, an elaborate theory of causation. To know the causes of things and to know that they are wholly natural is to banish the groundless fears that arise from “the antique notions of religion.” The conquest of fear, especially fear of unaccountable divine beings who meddle in nature at will, means a reduction in the sum total of human pain and suffering and opens the door to the calm acceptance of a new picture of the world-a world in which nature is autonomous and where there are ideal beings who never meddle.
Epicurus  The Art of Happiness

The fight against the “popular” religion  so detested by all materialists is far from won today, even in officially atheist Russia, where the Orthodox Church is reliably reported to be increasing in numbers. Since most of us uncritically accept religion as a “good” word and the effects of religion as generally good, it might be well to put the Epicurean point of view is sharply modern terms and imagine some jaundiced devil’s advocate preaching a lay sermon on the evils of religion.
Epicurus  The Art of Happiness

If the heart is not cleansed, what struggles, what trials we then thrust upon ourselves, and by no will of our own! What sharp pains of desire harrow the unquiet man, and equally what fears! Self-esteem, lechery, shamelessness, pomp, indolence-how they lay a man in ruins! He, then, who has vanquished all these and driven them from our hearts by words, not the force of arms-may we do not rightly deem such a man fit to be numbered with the gods? [Luer. 5.43-51]
Epicurus  The Art of Happiness

Because of the very fact, that pleasure is the primary and congenital good we do not select every pleasure; there are times when we forgo certain pleasures, particularly when they are followed by too much unpleasantness. Furthermore, we regard certain states of pain as preferable to pleasures, particularly when greater satisfaction results from our having submitted to discomforts for a long period of time… It is our duty to judge all such cases by measuring pleasures against pains, with a view to their respective assets and liabilities, inasmuch as we do experience the good as being bad at times and, contrariwise, the bad as being good. -layman’s Epicureanism
Epicurus  The Art of Happiness

The good Epicurean believes that certain events occur deterministically, that others are chance events, and that still others are in our own hands. He sees also that necessity cannot be held morally responsible and that chance is an unpredictable thing, but that what is in our own hands, since it has no master, is naturally associated with blameworthiness and the opposite. (Actually, it would be better to subscribe to the popular mythology than to become a slave by accepting the determinism of the natural philosophers, because popular religion underwrites the hope of supplicating the gods by offerings but determinism contains an element of necessity, which is inexorable.)
Epicurus  The Art of Happiness

NOTHING ARISES FROM NOTIDNG. “Nothing is generated from the nonexistent,” Epicurus tells us. “This is so because otherwise anything could be generated from anything and not require seminal particles.”6 In other words, if things were created out of nothing, either with or without divine agency, there would be no fixed order of happenings in nature, and things would occur at random.
Epicurus  The Art of Happiness

NOTHING PASSES AWAY INTO NOTHINGNESS. ” If an object that passes from our view were completely annihilated,” says Epicurus, ” everything in the world would have perished since that into which things were dissipated would be nonexistent.” This is formulated today as the principle of the indestructibility of matter.
Epicurus  The Art of Happiness

. ATOMS AND SPACE ARE THE SOLE EXISTENTS. “The totality consists of bodies and space… If what we call ‘the void’ or ‘space’ or ‘impalpable being’ were nonexistent, bodies would not have anywhere to exist, nor would they have a medium through which to move, as they manifestly do. In addition to these two entities it is impossible to think of anything else … as being a complete and independent entity and not, rather, a property or accident of body and space.”  If there are two and only two basic realities, matter-in motion and empty space, then everything in the world of sensory experience is either a combination of these (such as physical objects) or emergent from these (such as life, mind, values, human cultures, complex social and historical events)