The multispectral photographs of the PHerc. n. 1042 and 154 (National Library ‘Vittorio Emanuele III’ of Naples) are published by courtesy of the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism (credits: S. W. Booras, National Library, Naples - Brigham Young University, Provo, USA). It is striclty forbidden to reproducem them for any other purpose.

Science and philosophical debates 
a new approach towards ancient Epicureanism (SPIDER)

The present project (SPIDER) falls within the context of this recent of research. Its guiding theme will be science understood, in Epicurean terms, both as epistemology (canonics) and as the science of nature (physiologia).

The aim will be to explain in what way, through its deep and constant dialogue with other philosophies (Academic, Aristotelian, Sceptic and Stoic) and sciences (geometry, astronomy and medicine), Epicurean atomism is capable of accounting for the most peculiar and complex cognitive and natural phenomena in a way that is functional to ethics.

The research will be developed on the basis of an interdisciplinary approach as follows:

  1. retrieval, restoration and interpretation of the primary sources (Epicurus' On Nature, the inscription by Diogenes of Oenoanda and their relationship to the Letters and secondary sources);
  2. historical-theoretical reconstruction of the Hellenistic debates on the specific fields of science and philosophy;
  3. analysis of the role of science within Epicurus' philosophy, i.e.:

    • of the theory of knowledge and the Epicurean method of research,
    • of Epicurean physical theory,
    • of the ethical-political relevance of atomistic physiology;

  4. analysis of physical and epistemological terminology.