The Way to Attain All Possible Personal Good

From The Art Of Happiness; Or, The Teachings Of Epicurus (1933), by Henry Dwight Sedgwick.

The philosophy of Epicurus, as we find it in the books, comprised physics, logic and ethics, but it is only with his theory of ethics that I concern myself, and the value of that theory to-day lies in this, that Epicurus was not a metaphysician (and therefore unintelligible to the man in the street), but a fastidious gentleman who, whether owing to his nature, to Hellenic traditions, or to the beauty of the places in which he lived, or whatever else the cause, was averse to most of the things that we modern Americans set store by, notoriety, publicity, approval of the multitude, riches, luxury, noise, jocularity, indelicate literature. His doctrine was that of eudemonistic egoism; he believed that life is good and that the object of living is to obtain all possible personal good, and that the best means to obtain that object are health, frugality, temperance, privacy, culture and friendship.