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I do think Epicurus gets a lot of bad press. I've always had a bit of a soft spot for him though. It's true that Epicurus was a hedonist, in the sense that he thinks the good is pleasure. But pleasure is defined as the absence of pain, and so the Epicurean life was one of moderation and friendship and quiet work. My sense is that the legitimate complaint about Epicurus is that he was a materialist atomist, and when atomist made its grand return in the 17th century, Epicurus made a lot of people think if you were going to be an atomist, you should be a materialist as well.

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