"Ancient Philosophy and Everyday Life" is an introduction to Cynicism, Stoicism, Epicureanism and Scepticism. After a general account of the nature of ancient philosophy, it looks at each of these four particular schools in turn, outlining their histories and their doctrines. Special attention is paid to how these philosophies formed the bases for distinctive ways of life in antiquity. It is shown how their founders not only articulated the fundamental ideas of their schools but also embodied them in their own lives. Some of the more colourful characters of ancient philosophy appear here, including Diogenes of Sinope who lived in a wine barrel and Peregrinus Proteus who died by climbing onto his own funeral pyre at the Olympic Games. Consideration is also given to whether it would be possible to live like an authentic Cynic, Stoic, Epicurean or Sceptic today and if so, how. The ideas of the schools are clearly explained with a minimum of technical jargon, making this an ideal introduction for anyone with an interest in the subject.
"This is an honest little book. It presents each of the four main Hellenistic schools (Cynics, Stoics, Epicureans, Sceptics) in outline and then discusses the position each of them held in relation to a number of daily life issues... [Curnow] gives a minimalist version of the essential teachings of each school: it is commendable how much Curnow manages to pack in..."Professor Antonia MacaroSociety for Philosophy and PracticePractical Philosophy Magazine Issue 9.2, July 2008