On the Nature of Things


Book cover

This was an interesting read, although not something I’d necessarily recommend. I picked it up because I read that it was the most complete surviving statement of the philosophy of Epicurus, which I’m interested in learning more about. It’s definitely a unique book in being a work mostly of natural science written in verse. There is some philosophy in it, most notably the discussion of fear of death and why it’s not justified. But most of it is more about natural phenomena. There’s a lot in it that is pretty ahead of its time–atomism and pretty clear characterizations of genetic heritability and natural selection. Of course, there’s also some stuff that is totally wrong and seems silly. But anyway, I’d say it’s mostly of historical interest, and not something like, say, Epictetus, that would be likely to influence a modern person’s thinking.

My Goodreads rating: 3 stars