Epicurean Analysis

by Peter Saint-Andre


While working on the second draft of my dialogue Letters on Epicurus, I've been thinking about the Epicurean analysis of where human beings go astray in the pursuit of happiness. According to Epicurus, a "vice" or "sin" is a pattern of thought and behavior that is driven by a specific fear and that leads to an unnatural or unnecessary desire, thus taking you off the path to happiness.

Consider the following examples:

I'm sure that entire books have been written about envy, anger, and the desire for power, fame, honor, and luxury, but Epicurus was probably the first person to have analyzed these vices in a unified way. I need to ponder this analysis more deeply and then see if I can weave it into the dialogue I'm rewriting.

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