• Principal Doctrines of Epicurus

    Author(s):
    Irfan Ajvazi (see profile)
    Date:
    2022
    Subject(s):
    Philosophy, Epicurus, Plato
    Item Type:
    Article
    Permanent URL:
    https://doi.org/10.17613/50kt-aa26
    Abstract:
    Epicurean philosophy, as Epicurus's teachings became known, was used as the basis for how the community lived and worked. At the time, founding a school and teaching a community of students was the main way philosophical ideas were developed and transmitted. Greek philosopher Aristotle (384–322 BCE), for instance, founded a school in Athens called the Lyceum. Epicurus and his disciples believed either there were no gods or, if there were, the gods were so remote from humans that they were not worth worrying about. Similarly, humans would not have to worry about the afterlife. Instead, humans should live by maximizing their pleasure. The highest pleasure was to be found in the absence of pain. Epicurus taught that humans could maximize their pleasure by living simply and enjoying those impulses that are natural to humans. These impulses include the need to eat and the desire for good friends and company. The Principal Doctrines are 40 statements outlining the basis for the beliefs of Epicurus and his followers about how to lead a good life. Epicurus's other philosophical beliefs (such as his belief that existence was composed of indivisible particles called atoms) are expressed in other writings. Almost none of Epicurus's original writings survive to the present day. His works, including the Principal Doctrines, are known to us because of the work of later writers. In the 3rd century CE, Diogenes Laërtius reproduced Epicurus's writings in Lives, Teachings, and Sayings of Famous Philosophers. Produced centuries after Epicurus's death, such collections may not be Epicurus's precise words or formulations. The Principal Doctrines should thus be regarded as the core principles not only of Epicurus but also of his followers, the Epicureans.
    Notes:
    Epicurean philosophy, as Epicurus's teachings became known, was used as the basis for how the community lived and worked. At the time, founding a school and teaching a community of students was the main way philosophical ideas were developed and transmitted.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    8 months ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved
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