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Tending the Epicurean Garden Paperback – April 30, 2014


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 196 pages
  • Publisher: Humanist Press (April 30, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0931779537
  • ISBN-13: 978-0931779534
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #712,097 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Hiram Crespo was born in New York, NY and currently resides in Chicago. He recently graduated with high honors from a Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies from Northeastern Illinois University, with concentrations in Mass Media and French. He's a philosopher, multilingual author and blogger, and the founder of the Society of Friends of Epicurus.

His book Tending the Epicurean Garden is an introduction to Epicurean philosophy for a contemporary audience. In his goodreads profile, he cites among the reasons why this work is needed the lack of introductions to Epicureanism "on its own terms" rather than from direct or hostile sources, as well as the huge body of interdisciplinary research that vindicates the teachings of Epicurus, which calls for an update to how they're presented.

Customer Reviews

Also the author is promising a modern approach to Epicureanism, informed by the latest science.
Alexander Rios
This is an excellent book focused on how you can apply ancient Epicurean principles to live a happier life in the modern world.
Cassius Amicus
I found this book to be very readable and interesting and to have actionable and insightful ideas which were well communicated.
David L. Troiano

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
As soon as professional philosophers put pen to paper they seem to equate long words with authority and learning. This puts off most readers, who want ideas set out in accessible English.
This book mercifully avoids this pitfall.

Hiram Crespo has done a masterful job in describing the teachings of Epicurus and making them relevant to modern life. He has offered practical advice and tasks that an aspiring Epicurean can undertake, and has linked them with Buddhism and modern research on happiness and the workings of the brain. He has worked hard and has a wealth of useful information for anyone wishing to enjoy a peaceful and pleasant life.

Particularly good is the persuasive section on self-sufficiency, a subject that is not well addressed by other commentators on Epicureanism. Crespo wisely bypasses political Libertarianism, an outgrowth of Epicureanism that can descend into selfishness and lack of the very community spirit that makes this philosophy so powerful, and spells out the benefits of independence and the ability to think for yourself.

One of the legitimate concerns about the decline of organized religion is that children are not being taught morals and ethics, and thus can fall into modes of selfishness and mindless consumerism. Religions can be inconsistent and even harmful in some cases. Epicureanism, focused on the full and pleasant life and wholesome relationships with others, is the rational answer, and "Tending the Epicurean Garden" offers practical advice on how children ( not to mention adults themselves!) can be brought up to live ethical and fulfilling lives.

My only reservation is his repeated use of the word " suavity". This is not just a petty niggle.
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Format: Paperback
This is an excellent book focused on how you can apply ancient Epicurean principles to live a happier life in the modern world. Hiram Crespo is the founder of the Society of Epicurus, and this is his first book, explaining his suggestions for living according to the principles of Epicureanism. This is not an academic treatise or a primer on basic Epicurean doctrines, but a practical guide written for general audiences. The book explains Epicurean views in context with similar views from numerous other traditions, and shows how techniques from a variety of sources can be combined to assist in living more pleasurably. The book is well written and well organized, providing essentially a "self-help" approach with lots of specific advice. This is one of the few absolutely pro-Epicurean books to have been written in the last several hundred years. As far as I know, one has to go back to Frances Wright's "A Few Days In Athens" for another book which comes out swinging in its unreserved advocacy of Epicureanism as a lifestyle and as a philosophy. One can read this book without any knowledge at all of the history or doctrine of Epicurus, because the author provides a good measure of both history and teachings in the course of the book. However the reader who is new to Epicureanism would profit from consulting websites such as www.Epicurus.info, www.Epicurus.net, and of course Crespo's own www.SocietyofEpicurus.com for more background on the specifics of Epicurean ideas. It appears that Crespo's work as an advocate for Epicurean ideas is just getting started, so hopefully there will be more to come from the same author.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By S. Euler on August 19, 2014
Format: Paperback
This brilliant book may certainly be the first of its kind. There are many academic introductions to Ancient Philosophy out there, just as there are countless self-help books often drawing on various spiritual of esoteric traditions. Crespo's book is a bit of both. However, it is fully secular and artfully unites various intellectual and academic traditions from mindfulness meditation to neuroscience to nutritional science.

Over two millennia ago Epicurus discovered a reliable and practical path to happiness through achieving tranquility by means of a mindful lifestyle focused on savoring abiding pleasure. This book will allow you to explore this tradition in our world today.

Hiram Crespo invites modern readers to explore and possibly adopt Epicurean philosophy of life. He deals with various aspects of Epicurean philosophy, but instead of presenting them in theory, he talks to the reader and explains - drawing on profound knowledge and personal experience - how this philosophy can be used in everyday life.

A highly educational and enjoyable read!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Alexander Rios on September 30, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
I've been a scientific minded Secular Humanist for 15 years now so what could I possibly learn from this book? The answer I gave to myself was: Epicureanism is older than Christianity, and I'd like to quote ideas that are in tune with science. Also the author is promising a modern approach to Epicureanism, informed by the latest science. So I bought the book.

The epistemology of Epicureanism is not different than my understanding of the scientific method. The physics of Epicureanism is naturalistic, and materialistic and based on matter atoms in motion through space, and emitted images as thin films ("waves?") that travel fast, and that isn't too different from the Standard Model of Physics. I will not touch on physics and epistemology anymore, since none is too different than what I believed before I started to read.

What I've really learned from this book lies in the philosophical branch called `ethics', but I think its better described as a materialistic, naturalistic "spirituality". "Sprituality"! That awful word that evokes non-materialism to me and many folks who read it. Luckily the author reminds me that the Epicurean soul is completely materialistic, and made of atoms, and that he is talking about a psychological health, happiness, peace, tranquility, serenity, and Epicureans called it `ataraxia'.
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