The ancient moral philosophy of Epicureanism offers many valuable lessons for the modern world. How to Live Well updates and modifies Epicurean philosophy to offer an exciting new framework for contemporary social reform.
How To Live Well provides a synopsis of the key facets of Epicureanism and offers a history of Epicureanism across the past twenty centuries. Fitzpatrick identifies the core criticisms of Epicureanism and compares it with Aristotelian thought. In light of these criticisms, he proposes a 'new Epicureanism', based around four key subjects: liberty and freedom, justice and community, our obligations to other humans and nonhumans, and social justice and reform. Rejecting classical Epicurean hostility towards public intervention, How To Live Well proposes that 'new Epicureans' must promote and defend social fairness, and equate personal with communal well-being. An ethos of 'social guarantee' could help rethink our social welfare systems, our use of public spaces, economic and employment systems, contextualising all of these in terms of the need for long-term ecological sustainability.
Relating Epicurus to contemporary ideas and debates in politics and social reform, this book will be of interest to students of applied philosophy, ethics and social policy, as well as those with an interest in social theory and welfare.
Tony Fitzpatrick, School of Sociology and Social Policy, Nottingham University, UK.