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Beginning in August of 1999, I gave a series of eight lectures on “The Pursuit of Happiness: Philosophies East and West,” dealing with different conceptions of the good life.
The syllabus was:
- Harmony, Inner and Outer (Plato, Lao Tzu)
- Self-Actualization (Montaigne, Nietzsche)
- Detachment (Epictetus, the Buddha)
- Duty (Confucius, Kant, Montaigne)
- Pleasure (Callicles, Epicurus)
- The Conquest of Nature (Ayn Rand)
- The Spiritual Life (William James)
The second half of the lecture of pleasure deals with classical Epicureanism. The edition I used of Epicurus is The Epicurus Reader: Selected Writings and Testimonia, ed. and trans. Brad Inwood and L. P. Gerson (Indianapolis: Hackett, 1994). As usual, the sound quality is clear but rather harsh due to the necessity of heavy noise reduction.