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About the book
  • Published: 14 December 2012
  • ISBN: 9781743480496
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook

Reclaiming Epicurus: Penguin Special




Epicureanism has been diluted into a byword for gourmet dining, but does the original ancient Greek 'philosophy of the Garden' contain insight that could save the world? Luke Slattery argues that reading Epicurus could help us rethink our materialist ways and challenge the inevitability of man-made climate change. Rather than appealing to altruism, or calling for revolution in the global economy, the Epicurean philosophy turns the developed world's credo of 'greed is good' on its head, counselling that genuine happiness comes from the quieting of desire; from less, not more. And that might just be the mindset we need to rein in unsustainable development.

In this thoughtful Penguin Special, Slattery traces the radicalism of classical Epicurean thought, and its popularity despite political suppression. Along the way, he tours the archaeological sites of the ancient village of Oinoanda in Turkey and the Villa of the Papyri, buried along with Pompeii, with its ancient library of petrified scrolls. Might some of this treasure's fragments, painstakingly restored, reveal answers to the big questions faced in the twenty-first century?

  • Pub date: 14 December 2012
  • ISBN: 9781743480496
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook

About the Author

Luke Slattery

Luke Slattery is a Sydney-based journalist and editor. He has spent most of his career in newspapers writing about the world of ideas for a wide audience. He has served as higher education editor at The Australian, The Age and the Financial Review, and has been the recipient of the Higher Education Journalist of the Year Award, the European Union journalist award, and the Australia Council's Keesing writing fellowship in Paris. His journalism and writing have been published in the main Australian metropolitan newspapers and internationally at the International Herald Tribune, the LA Times, the London Spectator, The Scotsman, and the US Chronicle of Higher Education; a number of his articles have been republished online at the Arts & Letters Daily web portal. Slattery is the author of Crisis in the Clever Country: Why Our Universities are Failing (with Geoffrey Maslen), Dating Aphrodite: Modern Adventures in the Ancient World, and Reclaiming Epicurus: Could an Ancient Philosophy of Happiness Save the World? He is a doctoral candidate at the University of Technology, Sydney. The First Dismissal is his fourth book.

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