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 ...