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Stoics and Epicureans

Narrated by: Lynn Redgrave
Length: 2 hrs and 43 mins
Categories: History, Ancient
3.5 out of 5 stars (57 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Stoics and Epicureans date from the Hellenistic period, but the debate between these two modes of thought continues today. For the Stoics, the goal of human life was to align one's nature with the rational order of all things by cultivating pure reason. Through the practice of dialectic, they aimed for ethical righteousness and self-control. In sad or turbulent times, stoical endurance has appealed to many people as a way of coping.

The Epicureans also valued moderation, but they were suspicious of overly sophisticated intellectual debate, relying more on sense impressions to establish truth. Concluding that life is simple and its truths easy to perceive, they sought a life of minimum pain and maximum pleasure by rejecting external pursuits in favor of lasting inner values, like wisdom, honor, and peace of mind.

©2006 1995 Carmichael and Carmichael, Inc. and Knowledge Products (P)2006 1995 Carmichael and Carmichael, Inc. and Knowledge Products

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Such a delightful book!

I've had this book in my library for many years, and just came across it - again.

In its mere 2 hrs and 43 min, it's such a great reminder of the big, superiorly important philosophical questions:
What constitutes a good life? How do you live to lead a good life?

Much neglected by philosophy thereafter, the Hellenistic Era should be revisited. This book in all its simplicity - due to its simplicity - is a wonderful listen to ground you, to re-calibrate you in a 'modern' world full of material desire, noise and speed and less of deep, slow thought and fulfilling activities and relationships.

Pick it up, listen to it now and then, and hear the words repeated over the centuries (echoes of Buddhism) that can help you see through the futile grasp for shiny objects, and so much more.

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    4 out of 5 stars

Good discussion of different philosophers

Interesting discussion of two philosophical schools. In particular, they talked about a lot of figures and ideas that I was not familiar with before.

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  • Phil Winston
  • 03-28-19

A decent overview

The multiple characters was nice, but it made it difficult to listen to at a high speed.

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  • Ian1956
  • 06-25-14

A range of intriguing ideas

I must admit that I bought this for the section on Epicurus, given that "pleasure", "leisure" and Epicurus appeared in an Open University module I had come across. In that respect, it fleshed out the OU material and demolished the slur about epicureanism. The audiobook is even-paced, occasionally interspersed with some awful accents from readers quoting from various international authors. It would have been better had Lynn Redgrave's calm voice narrated everything. All things considered, this is a book that can be listened to repeatedly and in small sections, if you wish to engage in the diverse ideas on offer.