Epicureanism (IV century BC - II century AD) - a philosophical school, which was based on the teaching Epicurus (342/341 biennium BC - 271/270 BC) . The philosophy of this school can be called minimalistic - it is based on a very small number of principles, putting forward as the main metaphysical thesis the statement that reality is in atomic matter and in the things composed of it, and as the main ethical principle - the pursuit of pleasure, which is regarded as the surest sign of possessing good. Epicurus does not recognize the necessity of universals (for example, Plato's ideas) and relies solely on the evidence of sense perception - thus, sense perception stands at the center of the scientific method of the Epicureans.
The history of epicureanism. Epicurus
As a school tradition, epicuregium existed in the period from the end of the IV century. BC. until the middle of the III century. AD In 310 BC. Epicurus founded the philosophical school in Colophon; in 306 BC. The school was moved to Athens, where it was named after its location - "Sad". The history of this school is divided into three stages: the early, middle and late Garden. Early epicureanism (the end of the 4th century BC - the beginning of the 3rd century BC) is associated with the activities of Epicurus and his disciples, among whom the most famous are Metodor, Kolot and Gerrimah . In the middle epicureanism (II - the middle of the 1st century BC), the teachings of Zeno from Sedona and Apollodorus of Athens . The Late Garden is Roman epicureanism. The most famous personalities of this period are Lucretius and Philademus of Gadara . In Rome, epicureanism was popular and had a large number of followers, but the prevalence of teaching led to its vulgarization and the softening of ethical doctrine.
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Epicurus was born in 342/341 years. BC, grew up on the island of Samos, studied philosophy in Athens from Navsifan, at the age of 32 he founded the philosophical school in Colophon, which he then transferred to Athens. Here he, along with the pupils, settled in the garden he had bought (hence the name of the school he founded - the Garden). Not only men, but also women, and even slaves could join his school. He died in the 271/270 gg. BC
Epicurus wrote about 300 works and letters, most of which were not preserved. Three of his letters to the students of Herodotus, Pifocles and Mnsksu, excerpts from letters to other persons, a collection of sayings called "Main Thoughts" and fragments of his work "About Nature". In addition, some of the information on the philosophy of Epicurus is available to us from the quotations from his works in the writings of the late Epicureans and their numerous opponents.
Canon , or epistemology of the Epicureans - their teaching about cognition - is primarily related to their physics. Epicurus believed that knowledge should be based only on sensory perception; in the evidence of sense perception, he finds the criterion of truth. All the mistakes in our judgments, in his opinion, are solely due to incorrect estimates of sense data by our mind. Within this empirical teaching, a method is developed that makes possible the logos (reasoning) of things perceived by feeling.
The doctrine of cognition is set forth in the work of Epicurus Canon, "which we know in the retelling of Diogenes of Laertius (hence the name" canon "). The word canon was used in construction to name the measure or plumb line to which the builders were oriented while building the building; the teaching about cognition was such a "guide line" for the theoretical building of Epicurean philosophy. The Canon in Epicurus' teaching replaces the logic or dialectics that he lacks, namely, he answers the question about the criteria that make it possible to distinguish truth from lies. The canon deals with the criteria, norms and bases of knowledge, answers the question of the possibility of scientific consideration of things and generally scientific knowledge.
Sensualism of Epicurean philosophy.
Philosophy of the Epicureans sensualistic - This means that they perceive sense perception as the basis of truth. Epicurus distinguishes three criteria of truth:
1. Sensual perception.
3. General concepts.
The first criterion - sensory perception - includes both general and individual perceptions: according to Epicurus, in perception we are given a specific person, and his "humanity", which, however, is not has a separate existence, like Plato's ideas, but simply expresses the nature of the observed object. Sensual perception arises from the flow of thin images , or eidolons (eidolon), consisting of the smallest atoms emanating from the bodies. Atoms in these streams retain the same order that they had in bodies, and, falling into the senses, transmit information about the surrounding reality. The continuity of the flow of images ensures the reliability of sensory perception. Since the eidolon preserves all the properties of its object, in perception we correctly catch its nature of the object. The main principle of perception, which allows him to serve as a criterion of truth, is his passivity. In perception, we have nothing but stimuli from outside, and therefore can not be mistaken about the perceived; an error can only occur at the level of judgment: when this perception is incorrectly estimated. On the basis of sensory perception, we form representations that confirm or do not confirm what was perceived as something that relates to the real thing.
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The second criterion of truth is the suffering. The trauma associated with external action is an integral part of sense perception and is considered as the basis for judgments about sensory phenomena. The suffering associated with the events taking place in our soul creates an emotional message that determines the practical actions of a person, therefore in ethics, suffering is a criterion for distinguishing between what one should strive for and what should be avoided. By virtue of one's own passivity, enduring is a condition for considering the truth perceived as a criterion and can be understood as a single representation.
The third criterion of truth is general concepts ( prolepsis). The term prolepsis (anticipation ) was introduced into philosophical discourse by Epicurus; it comes from the context of medicine IV-III centuries. BC, in which the experience of the doctor was considered as the basis for the derivation of general judgments about the disease. According to Epicurus, as a result of the experience of sensory perception, arising from the repeated impact of external images on the sense organs, and also our ability to remember this effect, we have common concepts. These general concepts serve as some universal criterion with which one compares what is perceived sensually; on the basis of such a comparison, a judgment is made about the perceived. We can say that proleptsis is a concept that Epicurus suggests instead of the Platonic idea.
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