Epicurus and Socrates: Two Views on the Universe, Human Nature, and the Good Life

Thursday, February 20, 2014
(This program continues for multiple sessions)
Thursdays, February 20 – April 24

5:45 – 7:45 pm

Led by Jerry Barmore
This class has been cancelled.

Epicurus offered a guide to living the good life. While his works have been lost, a summary of his teaching survives in the work of his student, Lucretius’ poem, De Rerum Natura (The Way Things Are). We will compare Epicurus’ thinking with Socrates’ philosophies as the latter appear in Xenophon’s Memorabilia. We will consider how Socrates and Epicurus’ teaching methods differ, and what that might say about their understandings of human nature. All levels of experience with philosophy and the classics are welcome. Please read book one of The Way Things Are for the first session.

Jerry Barmore holds a PhD in philosophy from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Materials List

  • Lucretius, The Way Things Are [Translated by Rolfe Humphries]; readily available on Amazon. ISBN 025320125X.
  • Xenophon, Memorabilia (Agora Editions) [Paperback] Amy L. Bonnette (Translator), Christopher J. Bruell (Introduction); readily available on Amazon. ISBN 0801481716

Readings for the First Session:

  • Please read Book I of “The Way Things Are” prior to the first session.

CPDU credit for this course is available for Illinois teachers seeking recertification.

This class is part of the Newberry’s Adult Education Seminars Program.

Cost and Registration Information 

Ten sessions, $240.
This class has been cancelled.