The following is a brief recommendation from Meghan Sweet, instructor for the Natural Science I course in the B.A. program this fall.
How can I be happy?
What is the nature of the universe?
According to Epicurus, these two lines of inquiry are deeply connected. Epicurus was a Greek philosopher and scientist from around 300 B.C. He believed that happiness is tranquility of mind and freedom from fear. In order to be happy, we need to understand the workings of the universe–its causation, laws, matter, and form. Why? Well, when our theories of nature align with our sense experiences of nature, we experience present-moment tranquility. Thus, the role that science plays is ethical and spiritual– to bring about peace of mind. For a very readable and recent translation of Epicurus, I recommend The Art of Happiness, translated by George K Strodach and published by Penguin Classics. We are studying the works of Epicurus in Natural Science I this semester.