e•pic swerve [ˈɛpɪk][swəːv]: small shift, heroic changes
“The whole of being consists of atom and void.”
When I began to research Epicureanism I found it confusing at best. Through study I found that the basic principles are actually quite simple – and the effects are far-reaching and deserve to be better understood. This is why I built Epic Swerve: to present a clear, simple overview of modern epicureanism.
What is Epicureanism? A Definition
Epicureanism is a logical progression from the modern atomic theory to our philosophical purpose. It is this foundation that makes Epics so unflappably confident in their conclusions.Read more
New? Start Here
Epics are confident. Cicero called it the “manner that is customary with Epicureans.” The reason is that Epics build up our understanding of the world from basic truth to basic truth – learn how by subscribing to our newsletter and receive a free gift. See what’s inside.Read more
What Is the Epic Swerve?
Epic Swerves are small changes that lead to greater changes — sometimes called “keystone changes.” Beginning your study of epicureanism can be that catalyst – it is our inspired belief that it will be, and that we can grow together. Read more.Read more
The “swerve” is an idea first proposed by Epicurus of Samos circa 300BCE. Epicurus was one of the earliest proponents of what later became known as atomic theory, and for him the swerve was self-evident – without random small changes in the direction of atoms, we could chart the course of every atom in all of the universe to infinity exactly, leaving no possibility for free will (or evolution, for that matter).
The idea of the swerve was mocked for thousands of years – but uncertainty is understood by modern physicists as a fundamental property of quantum systems. The concept is popularly known as the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle.
The philosophy of Epicurus was founded on a way of thinking considered a precursor to the scientific method; building one truth upon another. The result of that process is a principled way of life based upon a simple formulation that the purpose of life is to be happy.
This goal is attainable by any person – young or old, male or female (or other!), of any race and creed, because we can (and should) all enjoy a life well-lived, full of simple pleasures and friendship.
Though this goal is achievable to anyone, in my view taking the first steps are courageous, and the journey itself is heroic – grand in scale or character. One might even call it epic.
Put “epic” and “swerve” together and you get the Epic Swerve, which is what we call the moment in our lives when we make a small shift that changes everything. These kinds of changes are sometimes called “keystone changes,” small changes that lead to other changes.
Beginning your study of epicureanism can be that catalyst – it is our inspired belief that it will be, and that we can grow together.
One last point to be made is that there is no time to waste. This is the time you are given, and no one knows how long their thread will be. Make the most of it!