Epicurean philosopher Philodemus.

I feel that if Epicurus lived in today's society, he would have a completely different philosophy.

As a humanist, Poggio had quite a few accomplishments. He uncovered an epic poem on the struggle between Rome and Carthage; the works of an ancient literary critic who had flourished during Nero’s reign and had written notes and glosses on classical authors; another critic who quoted extensively from lost epics written in imitation of Homer; a grammarian who wrote a treatise on spelling; a large fragment of a hitherto unknown history of the Roman Empire written by a high-ranking officer in the imperial Army, Ammianus Marcellinus. His salvaging of the complete text of the rhetorician Quintilian changed the curriculum of law schools and universities throughout Europe, and his discovery of Vitruvius’ treatise on architecture transformed the way buildings were designed. But it was in January, 1417, when Poggio found himself in a monastery library, that he made his greatest discovery. He put his hands on a long poem whose author he may have recalled seeing mentioned in other ancient works: “T. LUCRETI CARI DE RERUM NATURA.”

Epicurus therefore suggests that the end of human life should be pleasure—defining it as freedom from physical and mental pain. The positive delights that other men call "pleasure" are merely variations on the true, basic, contentment man needs and can easily achieve; they in no sense his happiness. A good life is guided by practical wisdom, a sense of responsibility for our decision making, self-sufficiency, and the careful application of the hedonistic calculus. This necessarily involves freedom from all fear and knowledge of the limits of our desires. Once we see that only "necessary" and nonharmful desires need be assuaged, we have removed a major obstacle to the achieving of the plenitude of human contentment.

This cardinal tenet about the nature of the gods and death is bound up with Epicurus's views on the soul. In spite of his physical theory, he is still (perhaps surprisingly) a dualist in matters concerning the mind and the body. Soul or mind, however, he sees as completely material; it is composed of very small, fine, round atoms. It gives sensation to the body and in turn needs the receptacle of the body to exercise its function of sensing. The body, at the same time, is given a degree of sensation by the soul. But neither soul nor body can sense apart; hence the fact that their dissolution at death is immediate annihilation for the whole person.

Epicureanism holds strong emphasis on friendship, pleasure, and happiness that is free from fear.

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The Pleasure And Happiness Philosophy Essay

This essay considers the different aspects of Epicurus's philosophy regarding the gods' immortality and blessing, how the immortality of the gods implies that they won’t trouble us or would they help us. The paper also discusses the Epicurus's words that everyone is capable of seeking wisdom…

Epicurus (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

Epicureanism holds a strong belief in maintaining happiness by keeping one’s wants simple.

The Stoic position on friendship slightly differs from that of the Epicureans, though they hold it in similar esteem. Epictetus argues in the Discourses that friendship is only possible after the removal of any attachments to things in the external world, which tend to cause conflict between potential friends. Epictetus argues that if we see animals playing, we think they are friends. But that is only true in that particular moment, when they are playing; it is not always the case: "To see what friendship is, throw a piece of meat among them and you will learn." The same is true with all apparent attachments between humans. Epictetus frames his argument as a response to a hypothetical case in which a man claims to love his son: "So with you and your dear boy: throw a bit of land between you, and you will learn how your boy wishes to give you a speedy burial, and you pray for the boy to die." Only when we surrender our claims on all external things - such as, though as we will see not limited to, property - can we establish sincere friendships deserving of the name. Anything less is only appearance and not reality. For Epictetus, a person either identifies himself with his external interests or with what Epictetus calls his "will," his inner interests - i.e. being virtuous. Since Moral Worth is the only good in Stoic philosophy, only wise men - those who know what is good and what is not - can truly be friends. Thus not only is friendship possible for the Stoic, but only for the Stoic is friendship possible.

Epicurus and Epicurean Philosophy

This book presents eighteen essays on the philosophers and schools of the Hellenistic and Roman periods: Epicureans, Stoics, and Sceptics. The discussion ranges over four centuries of innovative and challenging thought in ethics and politics, psychology, epistemology, and cosmology. The focus is on the distinctive contributions and methodologies of individual thinkers, notably Epicurus, Zeno, Pyrrho, Arcesilaus, Lucretius, Cicero, Seneca, and Epictetus. Placing their philosophy in its cultural context, and considering it in relation to the earlier ideas of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, the a ...


Letter to Menoeceus – Epicurus

Love comes even closer than friendship to endangering Epicurean self-sufficiency or autarkeia. Whereas Mitchell noted that, in an Epicurean friendship, utility can be a benefit of maintaining the friendship but it cannot be the very reason for the friendship, in love one cannot avoid the fate of being made into merely another object in the world for another person's projects: "Within a philosophy of self-sufficiency such as Epicurus', being made into an object for another's gain is the worst of possible fates and the complete antipode to self-sufficiency; it is life's greatest danger." Yet this is precisely what one subjects oneself to in a love relationship. You consent to being used, so long as the other lets you use them in turn. This leads to disturbance in the soul. If one were to counter that the evidently universal desire for love between two human beings should indicate that there actually is, in fact, something natural about it, and that therefore perhaps all the pains or disturbances are worthwhile, the Epicurean would respond that this does not prove attachments of love are natural, only that everyone has been duped by society's "empty opinions" - which could very well be the case. According to Stephens, Lucretius warned that "images of idyllic, beatified, electrified, passionate love are ephemeral images , mirages, incapable of feeding our real, earthly, embodied human relationships but fully capable of poisoning them." The desire for love - since it is both unnatural and unnecessary - can only do us harm; even in its fulfillment we do not experience the Epicurean pleasure of the absence of the desire. Love is insatiable, and therefore, for the Epicurean, must not be indulged.

Socrates/Epicurus Essay assignment

The philosophy of Epicurus (341–270 B.C.E.) was a complete andinterdependent system, involving a view of the goal of human life(happiness, resulting from absence of physical pain and mentaldisturbance), an empiricist theory of knowledge (sensations, together withthe perception of pleasure and pain, are infallible criteria), adescription of nature based on atomistic materialism, and anaturalistic account of evolution, from the formation of the world tothe emergence of human societies. Epicurus believed that, on the basisof a radical materialism which dispensed with transcendent entitiessuch as the Platonic Ideas or Forms, he could disprove the possibilityof the soul's survival after death, and hence the prospect ofpunishment in the afterlife. He regarded the unacknowledged fear ofdeath and punishment as the primary cause of anxiety among humanbeings, and anxiety in turn as the source of extreme and irrationaldesires. The elimination of the fears and corresponding desires wouldleave people free to pursue the pleasures, both physical and mental, towhich they are naturally drawn, and to enjoy the peace of mind that isconsequent upon their regularly expected and achieved satisfaction. Itremained to explain how irrational fears arose in the first place:hence the importance of an account of social evolution. Epicurus wasaware that deeply ingrained habits of thought are not easily corrected,and thus he proposed various exercises to assist the novice. His systemincluded advice on the proper attitude toward politics (avoid it wherepossible) and the gods (do not imagine that they concern themselvesabout human beings and their behavior), the role of sex (dubious),marriage (also dubious) and friendship (essential), reflections on thenature of various meteorological and planetary phenomena, about whichit was best to keep an open mind in the absence of decisiveverification, and explanations of such processes as gravity andmagnetism, which posed considerable challenges to the ingenuity of theearlier atomists. Although the overall structure of Epicureanism wasdesigned to hang together and to serve its principal ethical goals,there was room for a great deal of intriguing philosophical argumentconcerning every aspect of the system, from the speed of atoms in avoid to the origin of optical illusions.