EPICURUS and THE PLEASANT LIFE: A Philosophy of Nature Kindle Edition
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About the Author
Born in Greece, Haris Dimitriadis studied Mathematics at the Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki as well as Economics at the London School of Economics. His career spanned the business and banking industries and he has now settled into retirement.
Through climbing the corporate ladder, he found it brought little peace of mind, and he turned his attention to the philosophy of Epicurus. He has devoted the last decade of his life to studying, reconstructing and practicing the ancient Epicurean philosophy. Stunned by its effectiveness, he felt compelled to share his learnings with the world by publishing this very book in Greek three years ago.
With the publication of this English edition, he endeavors to disseminate this healing philosophy to the world in accordance with Epicurus' own aspiration. Haris' vision is to revive people's interest in and practice of the comprehensive and practical philosophy of Epicurus and re-establish the "Epicurean Garden" in a contemporary context.
Haris lives a simple and pleasant life in Athens with his family and friends, seeking peace of mind, freed from the anxieties and fears that the established philosophies of material welfare and religious faith provoke.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
- File size : 1499 KB
- Print length : 450 pages
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Language: : English
- ASIN : B071KKHF3Y
- Publisher : Haris Dimitriadis; 1st edition (15 June 2017)
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- Page numbers source ISBN : 1387294709
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Best Sellers Rank: 186,941 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
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While many ancient Greeks held logic and knowledge up as the key to a happy life, Epicurus insisted happiness, feelings and a connection to nature were more important.
Haris Dimitriadis does a wonderful job of arguing why Epicurus' world view should win the day and this book certainly gave me plenty to ponder.
It lays bare the ludicrous state of our materialistic society where people find themselves buried under piles of debt to accumulate possessions that will only bring them fleeting happiness. Epicurus wisely argues that only basic needs have to be met to bring contentment and that our quest for more money and bigger houses only brings pain as it forces us to work longer hours and spend less time with our families and friends.
While the focus is on Epicurus and his work, Dimitriadis also gives us a wider look at philosophy and even explains the biological processes behind our thoughts. He's clearly a smart cookie and you can tell this book has been thoroughly researched.
However, it's sometimes to the book's detriment as he tries to cram too much in. At over 500 pages it's a daunting read and something that demands your full attention. This isn't a book you can dip in and out of but if you give it your full concentration you will be rewarded. Dimitriadis is an accomplished writer and it's an entertaining as well as informative read. But I can't help but think slimming it down to around 350 pages might have helped get the message across better. Still well worth reading
I assume the book was translated because there are errors in word order at points (not very frequently but definitely enough to interrupt comprehension and enjoyment of the reading). I am making the assumption its translated because its either that or a pompous affectation in the writing style and i'd rather give the author the benefit of the doubt.
Citation / Referencing
Also, the author has a habit of trying to back up his arguments by saying things like 'evidence shows' at various points without any citation / referencing, or even a mention of what the evidence is. To me this lazy writing. I want to know what the evidence is. I want to be able to check some of it myself, or maybe follow on to other reading and learn more so i can form my own ideas. But alas, this isn't possible and we are instead required to take it on the author's word that indeed the 'evidence shows'.
The book itself has some great material but i think it would be a far better read it if stuck to the topic at hand: Epicureanism. What we get at the start of most of the chapters is a whistle stop tour of related ideas from other famous minds, such as Freud, before the Epicurean insights. The problem is that these are too rushed and shallow to do justice to the ideas of these thinkers. They are also not critically compared to the contrasting Epicurean position, and therefore they slow down the reading of what i came here for (the Epicurean philosophy) without proving much value in my opinion.
Honestly, i can't understand the 5 star reviews. I hate to break with the Amazon convention of either giving a book 5 stars and hailing it as amazing, or 1 star and trashing it. But the reality is this is a quite good book that could be pretty great if it had better editing in terms of writing, content, and citation / referencing in places.
The book covers the various forms of self and what it means to who you are. It looks at topics such as what it means to alive, how our understanding of ourselves and the world around us creates free will - and how these equate to finding happiness.
It's not just about “what” we think and feel, but also “why” - looking at the biology of messaging within our brains that effect our perceptions of self.
I personally preferred the earlier chapters about pleasure and positivity over those about worries and fears, but I realise the book needed both in order to be balanced.
I'm not sure I'm any closer to happiness, but I do feel as if my brain cells have been exercises in a positive way. Haris Dimitriadis should be incredibly proud of what he has achieved.
What is very good is the successful attempt by the author to ralate the Epicurean thoughts to modern life, which to my advice, is a good way of understanding and putting into practice philosophy in general.
One drawback in this book is that when drawing comparisons to other philosophycal thoughts it will only highlights the parts of such thoughts that are able to enhance the Epicurean thought currently scrutinised.
But that is another discussion.....fully recommend!