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Epicurus and Democritean Ethics

Epicurus and Democritean Ethics
An Archaeology of Ataraxia


Part of Cambridge Classical Studies

  • Date Published: May 2002
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521813693

£ 82.00

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About the Authors
  • The Epicurean philosophical system has enjoyed much scrutiny, but the question of its philosophical ancestry remains largely neglected. It has often been thought that Epicurus owed only his physical theory of atomism to the fifth-century BC philosopher Democritus, but this 2002 study finds that there is much in his ethical thought which can be traced to Democritus. It also finds important influences on Epicurus in Democritus' fourth-century followers such as Anaxarchus and Pyrrho, and in Epicurus' disagreements with his own Democritean teacher Nausiphanes. The result is not only a fascinating reconstruction of a lost tradition, but also an important contribution to the philosophical interpretation of Epicureanism, bearing especially on its ideal of tranquillity and on the relation of ethics to physics.

    • The first study of an important ancient philosophical tradition
    • Sheds light on the origins of Western ethics
    • Uncovers the background to Epicureanism and Pyrrhonian scepticism
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'In this book Warren shows himself well equipped with the tools of philosophical archaeology, and admirably skilled in their use … guides the reader expertly … Warren imparts much fascinating information …' Journal of the Society for Greek Political Thought

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    Product details

    • Date Published: May 2002
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521813693
    • length: 256 pages
    • dimensions: 216 x 140 x 19 mm
    • weight: 0.48kg
    • contains: 2 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of figures
    List of abbreviations
    Introduction: Epicurus, Democritus and ataraxia
    1. Introducing the Democriteans
    2. Democritus' ethics and atomist psychologies
    3. Anaxarchus' moral stage
    4. Pyrrho and Timon: inhuman indifference
    5. Polystratus and Epicurean pigs
    6. Hecataeus of Abdera's instructive ethnography
    7. Nausiphanes' compelling rhetoric
    Conclusion: Epicurus and Democriteanism: determinism, scepticism and ethics
    Index locorum
    General index.

  • Author

    James Warren, University of Cambridge
    James Warren is Assistant Lecturer in Classics at the University of Cambridge and Fellow of Corpus Christi College.

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