Alex Voorhoeve (LSE): “Pleasure, the Complete Life, and Death”

The Greek philosopher Epicurus was an early proponent of hedonism – the view that the good life is the pleasurable life. He also argued that “death is nothing to us”. These two claims appear contradictory. For if pleasure is good, it seems to follow that a longer life that contains more pleasure, is better. This lecture offers a new interpretation of Epicurus’ views which dissolves this apparent contradiction. What emerges is an engaging conception of pleasure and the good life which, if one were to follow it, would indeed render death harmless.