The purpose of this website is to promote the study of the philosophy of Epicurus.
Epicurus taught that it is essential to our happiness to pursue the study of Nature. An understanding of basic principles of Nature leads us to conclude that the universe is eternal, that we have free will, that we are not predestined by “Fate,” that we have no need to fear punishment or reward from capricious gods either now or after death, that we can find all the truth that is necessary for us to find, that happiness is possible, and that the requirements of happy living are few and simple. And these truths are not matters of speculation or reserved for some future existence – these are the ground rules of the only life available to us – the one we live now.
Armed with confidence in these conclusions, we are freed from the unnecessary fears and anxieties peddled by false priests and false philosophers. Beguiled no longer by “virtue” or “abstract reason” or “the will of the gods,” we are free to follow the guide Nature provided to us, Divine Pleasure. And our confidence that these conclusions are correct is not a matter of faith – in Epicurus or anything or anyone else. Our confidence is grounded in the proper use of the faculties Nature herself gave to us, by use of the method of true reason taught by Epicurus.
These are the matters that this web site will explore. This exploration is directed to normal, everyday people who wish to live happily – it is not directed to academics or historians. Academics and historians are welcome as well, but the philosophy of Epicurus was developed for ordinary people, and for far too long it has been hidden away from those who need it most. Establishment figures can be expected to continue to reject Epicurus just as they have for thousands of years. Epicurus’ philosophy gives no quarter to imposition or manipulation, and gives no route to fame or riches or power over others. The path of Epicureanism will always be the one to which Nature calls, but only those who are willing to listen to her, rather than to the crowd, will follow.
The attitude of Thomas Jefferson two hundred years ago was much the same as Epicurus two thousand years ago, and so the same is the attitude embraced by this website: “I swear eternal hostility toward every form of tyranny over the mind of man.”
The above “Elemental Edition” audio versions have been compiled and simplified from a variety of translations. Many translations of these letters are available on the internet, with two particularly good resources being Epicurus.info and Epicurus.net. For additional resources including the full text of these letters with critical commentary, consult the various resources included in the NewEpicurean library.