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St Andrews in Focus - Issue 74 Jan / Feb 2016

From the Editor

Flora Selwyn Jan/Feb 2016

The influence of Epicurus is so embedded in our Western way of life I wonder why he is not overtly included in our school curricula. Living from 341-270 BC Epicurus prefigured the scientific method in that he insisted on direct observation and logical deduction as the basis of belief (tell that to those who insist on promulgating computer simulations). The school he founded in his own garden admitted citizens, women, and slaves as equals. Here he founded his philosophy, known as Epicureanism – that life should be happy, free from both pain and fear. Today’s notions of wellbeing and sustainability resonate, it seems to me, with Epicurean echoes, though time and mistranslations have, perhaps, tarnished Epicureanism with ideas of over-indulgence in the pursuit of happiness, especially among followers of Dionysus. I long for the return of simple happiness as the basis of life.  Whichever way the future pans out, stay safe, be well, and above all, strive to be happy!

(Pencil portrait by talented young Moldavian student Valeria Ducal)

Flora Selwyn 

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