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UnspeakableA Life beyond Sexual Morality$
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Rachel Hope Cleves

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780226733531

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226733678.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 22 September 2021

Epicurus

Epicurus

Chapter:
(p.188) Chapter Fourteen Epicurus
Source:
Unspeakable
Author(s):

Rachel Hope Cleves

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226733678.003.0017

Norman Douglas had a reputation as a philosopher. He claimed an affinity for Epicurus, sharing his belief that pleasure was the purpose of life. He denied being a hedonist, explaining that he defined pleasure as extending beyond the body. Douglas rejected moralism, monotheism, and most of the day's political philosophies. His amoral defense of pleasure appealed not only to privileged men like himself, but to the many unconventional women he befriended, including Elizabeth David, Muriel Draper, and Faith Mackenzie. The most shocking aspect of Douglas's philosophy by the standards of his time, was his fierce antipathy to Christianity. Douglas regarded all religion as mumbo-jumbo, but he had a particular hatred for Christianity, which he blamed for spreading the delusion of good and evil through the world. Douglas also disliked Judaism, blaming it for the rise of Christianity. While he sometimes was accused of anti-Semitism, Douglas denied it and had several close friendships with Jewish intellectuals, including Oscar Levy and Walter Lowenfels. The writer Aldous Huxley was particularly fascinated by Douglas's rejection of morality, and included him as a character in several novels.

Keywords:   Norman Douglas, Epicurus, Aldous Huxley, philosophy, morality, hedonism, Elizabeth David, women, Christianity, Judaism

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