Knowledge is Power (10) - Who was Epicurus?

in steemitbloggers •  19 days ago

Epicurus is one of the major philosophers in the Hellenistic period, following Aristotle.

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By Interstate295 revisited at English Wikipedia [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Epicurus believed in senses and that we could gain knowledge of the world relying upon them. He taught the three criteria of truth: sensations, preconceptions, and feelings.

His philosophy was based on the theory that the distinction between good and bad derives from the sensations of pleasure and pain. He developed hedonistic ethics by teaching that the ultimate goal for a human being is to obtain pleasure for himself. He said that people can get pleasure by limiting their desires.

He said that there are vain desires, natural and necessary, and natural but not necessary desires. He also said that courage, moderation and the other virtues are needed in order to attain happiness. However, in his concept, the virtues are valuable only for the sake of the happiness they can bring us.

Epicurus believed that the world is made of atoms, which are microscopic pieces of matter and the atoms move in an empty space. For him the Universe had no beginning but had always existed and will always exist. He also taught that nothing comes into existence from nothing.

Epicurus developed the Identity Theory of Mind. In modern versions the mind is identified with the brain, but in Epicurus' physiology the mind is in the chest, since the common Greek view was that the emotions reside in the chest. I find this very interesting, don't you?

He believed that the mental process is an atomic process and the mind is made out of four types of particles: fire, air, wind, and the "nameless element".

Epicurus rejected the idea of an immaterial soul and believed that the gods have no influence on our lives. He tried to eliminate the fear of death, saying that death is annihilation, because the mind is a group of atoms that disperses upon death.

In conclusion, I think Epicurus is another remarkable philosopher, who brought out some very interesting ideas and new concepts for his time.

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This post is a part of my series "Knowledge is Power". In case you missed the previous articles, you can read them here:

What is Philosophy?
Philosophy and its branches
Ten Commandments of Philosophy
What is Logic?
What is Ethics
Who was Phytagoras?
Who was Socrates?
Who was Plato?

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It is always impressive when you look back at the minds of that time. How did they figure this all out? I always wonder that.

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Yes, I also wonder. I must admit I am really fascinated by philosophy. When I was in college I treated the classes with superficiality, I found it very boring. But as I grew older, I started to study some more and now, when I am tutoring, I see everything differently, and I understand much more. That’s why I decided to share some short articles, so people can understand easily the basics of philosophy. Philosophical questions consumed humanity from the beginnings. Amazing.

howdy there starjewel! hey how in the world did this guy know about atoms? did they have telescopes back then? lol. that's amazing. This is some heady stuff here, I could get a headache pretty fast but it IS very interesting, thank you! I love history but mine is like 150 years ago. lol.

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You are so funny 😆 I try to make philosophy interesting for everybody, because it really is.

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howdy again starjewel! yes Ma'am I agree it is if one can comprehend it. do they have any redneck philosophers that would be a little easier for me to understand?
And if they don't maybe you could fill a need in the philosophy market place! lol.

But hey I can totally relate in a way because I try to make history interesting for everybody by telling it in story form.

Keep up the good informative work

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Trying to share interesting stuff my friend, thank you for stopping by 😊

Upvoted. Kryptonia id @chetachi26

lovely post, makes a lot of sense

我思故我在,萬物皆有靈~~

Aristotle was well known than this philosopher.

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All philosophers are known for different ideas they came up with. I am presenting only the most popular ones, as there were so many enlightened minds throughout the centuries.

Nice one, from kryptonia @uche234

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I love reading history an reading about great minds. Makes me want to focus on something ad do it well.

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Yup, that’s the spirit. Like Buddha said: Be aware, stay awake.


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Interesting read @starjewel thanks for sharing