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If we all want happiness and pleasure so much, then why are we so bad at getting it?
Pleasure feels amazing Anxiety, however, does not. The Ancient Greek Philosopher Epicurus rolled these two strikingly intuitive claims into a simple formula for happiness and well-being--pursue pleasure without causing yourself anxiety. But wait, is that even possible? Can humans achieve lasting pleasure without suffering anxiety about failure and loss? Epicurus thinks we can, at least once we learn to pursue pleasure thoughtfully. In Living for Pleasure, philosopher Emily Austin offers a lively, jargon-free tour of Epicurean strategies for diminishing anxiety, achieving satisfaction, and relishing joys. Epicurean science was famously far ahead of its time, and Austin shows that so was its ethics and psychology. Epicureanism can help us make and keep good friends, prepare for suffering, combat imposter syndrome, build trust, recognize personal limitations, value truth, cultivate healthy attitudes towards money and success, manage political anxiety, develop gratitude, savor food, and face death. Readers will walk away knowing more about an important school of philosophy, but moreover understanding how to get what they want in life--happiness--without the anxiety of striving for it.
About the Author
Emily A. Austin is Professor of Philosophy at Wake Forest University. She earned her Ph.D. from Washington University in St. Louis, specializing in Ancient Greek Philosophy.