Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Philosophy of Epicurus

Epicurus was born in Samos Greece in 341 B.C. He was born there but lived in Athens for most of his life. Epicurus was the founder of the Epicurean School that he named The Garden. His followers, the Epicureanists, were instructed under rational living."Many aspects of his thought are still highly relevant some twenty-three centuries after they were first taught in his school in Athens..." Source 1 Source 2

Epicurus' main belief is that pleasure is the end of life. By pleasure he meant absence of pain. He believed that pleasure is the soul being freed from confusion and the body being freed from pain. He also taught that self denial, independence, and self control should be at a moderate level. He also believed that no person should take on large and heavy responsibilities or have serios involvement. He believed that the pleasures that are sought out and looked for will endure a life-time. Also, if your life escaped other people's notice than Epicurus praised it.
Source 3 (Nardo 84)

Epicurus also believed that a troubled soul lacks pleasure. Epicurus believed that every pain is evil and ever pleasure is good. Therefore by following Epicurean thought then you will reach a calm and peaceful life. He always taught to avoid the extreme pleasures and that a lasting pleasure will not and will never be a bodily sensation. Source 3

Epicurus went farther into his study of pleasures. He distinguished between "higher" and "lower" pleasures. The higher pleasures included intellectual pleasures, pleasures of intellect. Lower pleasures were those that were bodily pleasures including food, sex, and drink. Source 3 (Nardo 125)

Epicurus sought virtue. He also believed in reason and reasoning our lives. He also believed in prudence and natural science. Source 3

There are two main downfalls of Epicurus. The first one is that the absence of pain is a pleasure in his view. Epicureanism is incomplete in his ethics. How should we rview virtues such as good in societies view, pleasure for others, and justice. Source 3

Nardo, Don. Lost Civilizations:The Ancient Greeks. San Diego Ca: Lucent Books, 2001.

Nardo, Don. Living in Ancient Greece. Farmington Hills MI: Green Haven Press, 2004

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