The New Hedonism of Michel Onfray

Michel Onfray has set himself the seemingly unsurmountable challenge of toppling over what he regards as the false idols of the philosophical Parthenon. Influenced by Nietzsche but especially by late ancient materialist thinkers such as Democritus and Epicurus, he defends a new form of hedonism described as ‘an introspective attitude to life’ based on the unselfish pursuit of pleasure. He is not talking, here, about Bentham’s felicific calculus but about the careful and reasoned care and management of the self ...

Philosophers on Work

Philosophers are not known for their practical skills and thinkers like Plato and Aristotle had little to say about their toiling contemporaries, be they free artisans or slave labourers. Over the centuries, many philosophers have tried to exert some influence on the ruler of the day, most often in vain, such as Plato with Dionysus II of Syracuse or Voltaire with Frederick II of Prussia. It is in the nineteenth century that philosophers went back to the drawing board and ...

Atomism

  Atomism, the start of 'real' chemistry. It is the idea that the natural world is composed of fundamental, indivisible partices called atoms. By User:Yzmo (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia CommonsThe Greek philosphers Democritus and Leucippus and the Indian philospher Kanada came up with these ideas around the same time, 400BC. The claims were controversial as both philosphers lacked the empirical evidence needed to back up their claims. Their claims were even opposed by Aristotle. The word atom ...