Cloth $12.50 ISBN: 9780226798646 Will Publish November 2021 For sale in the USA and Philippines

The Pocket Epicurean

John Sellars

The Pocket Epicurean

John Sellars

72 pages | 4 1/2 x 6 | © 2021
Cloth $12.50 ISBN: 9780226798646 Will Publish November 2021 For sale in the USA and Philippines
A short, smart guide to living the good life through the teachings of Epicurus.

As long as there has been human life, we’ve searched for what it means to be happy. More than two thousand years ago, the Greek philosopher Epicurus came to his own conclusion: all we really want in life is pleasure. Though today we tend to associate the word “Epicurean” with indulgence in the form of food and wine, the philosophy of Epicurus was about a life well lived even in the hardest of times. As John Sellars shows in this concise, approachable guide, the ideal life envisioned by Epicurus and his followers was a life much more concerned with mental pleasures and the avoidance of pain. Their goal, in short, was a life of tranquility or contentment.
In The Pocket Epicurean Sellars walks us through the history of Epicureanism, starting with the private garden on the edge of ancient Athens where Epicurus and his students lived in the fourth century BC, and where women were as welcome as men. Sellars then moves on to ancient Rome, where Epicurean influence flourished thanks to the poet Lucretius and his cohort. Throughout the book, Sellars draws on the ideas of Epicurus to offer a constructive way of thinking about the pleasures of friendship and our place in the world.


1. Philosophy as Therapy
2. The Path to Tranquillity
3. What Do You Need?
4. The Pleasures of Friendship
5. Why Study Nature?
6. Don’t Fear Death
7. Explaining Everything


Further Reading
Review Quotes
Independent, on the UK Edition
“Lucid and scholarly.”
Guardian, on the UK Edition
“Sellars expertly expounds Epicurean ideas. . . .  and he knows the Greek and Latin Epicurean texts thoroughly.”
The Idler, on the UK edition
“Not only an excellent introduction to the history of Epicurean philosophy, but also a helpful guide to facing the manifold anxieties of modern life.”—The Idler, on the UK edition
David Konstan, New York University
“In this brief and eloquent book, Sellars takes us through the basic arguments of Epicureanism with wonderful clarity, distilling the essence of an ancient philosophy that speaks with increasing urgency to our troubled times. It is an exemplary guide, and I recommend it enthusiastically to readers of all ages and all walks of life.”
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