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Epicurus: An Introduction

Professor Rist's short introduction to the philosophy of Epicurus combines scholarship with clear exposition. All Greek in the text is translated, and discussion of more specialised problems of interpretation is relegated to appendices. In an account which mediates between the extremes of approval and opposition traditionally accorded to him, Epicurus emerges as an ideologist, a pragmatic philosopher whose most notable achievement perhaps was to reject much of the prevailing social ethos of Hellenism and assert the rights and claims of the individual against those of the community or state.
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Table of Contents

Preface; Acknowledgements; Abbreviations; Part I: Epicurus and his Friends; Part II. Canonic: 1. Introduction; 2. Sensation; 3. General concepts; 4. Feelings; 5. Image-making contact of the mind; 6. True and false judgement; Part III. Physics: 1. First principles; 2. Atoms: size and shape; 3. Atoms: weight and movement; 4. 'Parts' of atoms; 5. Secondary qualities; 6. Void; 7. Compounds; 8. Qualities of physical objects; Part IV: Man and the Cosmos; Part V. Soul, Mind and Body: 1. The atomic composition of the soul; 2. Anima and animus; 3. Sensation; 4. Operations of the mind; 5. Will and action; Part VI. Pleasure: 1. The concept of pleasure; 2. The subsidiary role of kinetic pleasure; 3. The limit of pleasure; 4. Condensing pleasure; 5. The selection of pleasures; 6. The role of pleasure in ethics; Part VII: The Problem of Friendship; Part VIII. The Gods and Religion: 1. The existence and structure of the gods; 2. Analogy and insomnia; 3. The life and activities of the gods; 4. Rights religion; Part IX: Postscript; Appendices; Glossary of technical terms; Bibliography; Index.

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