The Ethics of Philodemus

Paperback | January 1, 2012

byVoula Tsouna

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Voula Tsouna presents a comprehensive study of the ethics of the Epicurean philosopher Philodemus, who taught Virgil, influenced Horace, and was praised by Cicero. His works have only recently become available to modern readers, through the decipherment of a papyrus carbonized by the eruptionof Vesuvius in 79 AD. Tsouna examines Philodemus' theoretical principles in ethics, his contributions to moral psychology, his method, his conception of therapy, and his therapeutic techniques. Part I begins with an outline of the fundamental principles of Philodemus' ethics in connection with the canonical views of theEpicurean school, and highlights his own original contributions. In addition to examining central features of Philodemus' hedonism, Tsouna analyses central concepts in his moral psychology, notably: his conception of vices, which she compares with that of the virtues; his account of harmful orunacceptable emotions or passions; and his theory of corresponding acceptable emotions or 'bites'. She then turns to an investigation of Philodemus' conception of philosophy as medicine and of the philosopher as a kind of doctor for the soul. By surveying his methods of treatment, Tsouna determinesthe place that they occupy in the therapeutics of the Hellenistic era. Part II uses the theoretical framework provided in Part I to analyse Philodemus' main ethical writings. The works considered focus on certain vices and harmful emotions, including flattery, arrogance, greed, anger, and fear ofdeath, as well as traits related to the administration of property and wealth.

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Voula Tsouna presents a comprehensive study of the ethics of the Epicurean philosopher Philodemus, who taught Virgil, influenced Horace, and was praised by Cicero. His works have only recently become available to modern readers, through the decipherment of a papyrus carbonized by the eruptionof Vesuvius in 79 AD. Tsouna examines Philod...

Voula Tsouna is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:368 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.68 inPublished:January 1, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199640122

ISBN - 13:9780199640126

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Table of Contents

AcknowledgementsAbbreviationsPreface1. First Things2. Vices, Emotions, and 'Bites'3. Analysis and Treatment: Methodological and Epistemological Prolegomena4. Therapeutic Tactics5. On Frank Speech6. Flattery and the Desire to Please7. Arrogance and Related Vices8. Wealth and Property Management9. Anger and the Desire for Revenge10. The Fear of DeathReferencesIndex LocorumGeneral Index

Editorial Reviews

`an immensely valuable basis for further work on Philodemus. 'Bryn Mawr Classical Review