In evaluating the philosopher’s goal of determining how to live a good life, Epicurean philosophers argue that pleasure is the greatest good and pain is the greatest bad. Foremost, for the purpose of this analysis, I must define the pleasure and pain described. Pleasure is seen as the state of being pleased or gratified. This term is defined more specifically by the subject to which the pleasure applies, depending on what he likes. Pain is the opposite of pleasure, which is a type of emotional or physical un-pleasure that results in something that the person dislikes. “Everything in which we rejoice is pleasure, just as everything that distresses us is pain,” (Cicero 1). Through this hedonistic assessment of pleasure and pain, epicurean philosophers come to the conclusion that, “the greatest pleasure [is that] which is perceived once all pain has been removed,” (Epicurus 1).
Epictetus' view is that happiness is how we respond to the outside world and not have
I have decided to write about Epicurus’s Fear of Death. I used to think death is the most horrible thing in my life. However, I found it very interesting that Epicurus advocated that death is nothing to fear since “Death, the most frightening of bad things, is nothing to us; since when we exist death is not yet present, and when death is present, and then we do not exist”.
His ideas are that if you do something pleasurable there will be side effects. Since we can plan our lives, we may do what is best for us now, or we could do something that will be better for us later. I agree with him because if you waste your money on a party that will last one night, you are only thinking about now, and not what you will do about being broke. I agree with Epicurus’s ideas that “a pleasure result in the short term must be weighed against the possibility if a greater, more lasting, or intense pleasure in the long term.”
25. Epicurean teachings and politics were based on individual pleasure. The highest of all pleasures is the serenity of the soul, in complete absence of mental and physical pain. This can be achieved by eliminating fear.
The principal Doctrines, are written by Epicurus who lived from 341B.C. to 270 B.C. His theory is hedonism, which is rooted in pleasure. The book speaks of pain as being only temporary, and that it is only a pleasure over pain (V). This is a way of life to see the pleasures that life offers are what Epicurus is saying. And although, “no Pleasure is a bad thing in itself,” The results of obtaining the pleasure can bring greater displeasures (VIII). He is looking for the most pleasures one can get, and I suppose if he was not happy with his job, that he would quit. I can see Epicurus, avoiding a lot of things within his life because they would bring pain and frustration, like driving in rush hour. The idea sounds like he is living the simple life, or a hermit’s life.
The philosophy of Epicurus sought virtue as a condition of serenity in the soul. According to his thought, Epicureanism is centered in the achievement of happiness through the elimination of one’s desires, and on pleasure and virtue claiming that “It is impossible to live pleasantly without living wisely and honorably and justly” (Epicurus, Doctrines, 1). This signifies that pleasure and virtue are interdependent and both sustain the concept of this ideology. To achieve happiness, one must do its best to live as virtuously as possible if they are to live a pleasant life. Pleasure is declared as the “beginning and end of the happy life” and by nature “the greatest good” (Epicurus, Doctrines, 13). This is so because living a life of pleasure means pain is absent and therefore makes life meaningful. Reason and virtue play an important role in the Epicurean notion of pleasure, leading the wise man to choose a simple life and rational action above
In order for one to be happy, one must be free. So this begs the question, how do you become free? Epictetus lends us his distinction between things/objects that depend on us and those that do not. He states that our body, fame, power, etc. are things that do not depend on us. And, our judgments, our desires and dislikes are all things that do depend on us. In order to be free, Epictetus says we need to focus on the things that do depend on us, and for us to not let things that don’t depend on us be of any importance. Surely, they are not dependent upon our own will, rather the opportunity of external circumstances. For instance, fame in which one may desire in not completely dependent on the amount of talent the individual has, but it is also the people that will come and take time to discover one’s talent. In this particular scenario, we lack having total power. This is because we aren’t the sole cause in determining how successful are actions are. Because of this, we are more at risk to having speed bumps or disappointments along the way that will ultimately cause us to be
Epicurus was a Greek philosopher born in 341 B.C., and he lived until 240 B.C. According to The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, “He [Epicurus] claimed to be self-taught, although tradition states that he was schooled in the systems of Plato and Democritus by his father and various philosophers” (Columbia). These prior philosophers heavily influenced the ideals that Epicurus would popularize later on in life. The ideals of Epicurus went on to be known as Epicureanism, which essentially was a school of thought that recognized pleasure as the greatest virtue (James).
Epicurus’ views are the views of a hedonist; the only thing that is intrinsically good is pleasure. By pleasure, Epicurus does not mean a sexual pleasure, but the “absence of pain in the body and of trouble in the soul” (Epicurus, n.d., p. 3), which means that pleasure is the absence of pain, so removal of pain equals pleasure. Epicurus believes that living a calm life is better than living a thrilling life. However, a calm life would be boring and without purpose compared to a thrilling life. A thrilling life does not necessarily mean creating excitement in everything you do, but living a meaningful life without being too precarious to avoid pain. Epicurus believes that we should live a calm life to avoid pain and therefore
To Epicurus happiness was the same as pleasure. And pleasure was freedom from bodily pain and mental anguish. He lived a simple life, owning only two cloaks and only eating bread and olives. With the occasional slice of cheese for a treat. He believed desire was a form of pain and therefore should be eliminated, and thus one should be satisfied with the bare minimum of what is needed to be happy. Therefore, while it was not a life of many desires, it was filled with the only pleasures you would need to be happy. There was a certain joy he found, in pure existence. Today’s society could learn a thing or two from this philosophy, most of which being living simply. It was better to take pleasure in simple things, rather than to chase pleasure.
The greatest happiness was to reach a state of mind where fear and pain are nonexistent and to have certain pleasures. That will declare that the only good there is will be of pleasure. The absence of pain will be the greatest pleasure and can advocates a simpler life. In the Epicurean view, the highest pleasure which is the freedom from fear was obtained by friendship, living a virtuous life and having knowledge. One of the examples he gave was “when eating, one should avoiding eating too richly, for it could lead to dissatisfaction later on” because, in the realization of that, one could not afford the same delicacies in the future. Epicurus categorized pleasure and pain into three main criteria which are: intensity (strength of the feeling) duration (length of the feeling) and purity (pleasure unaccompanied by
Born of different backgrounds, upbringings, and experiences, Epictetus and Seneca are Roman philosophers who outwardly appear very different. Epictetus spent most of his youth as a slave while Seneca was born into money and became a tutor of Nero. Although these two men seem to be very dissimilar, they each shared a common purpose in studying philosophy and teaching people on how to live well. Each suggested different paths for how to do so. Epictetus suggests in his book, The Discourses and The Enchiridion, that living a life in accordance with nature could be achieved by living moderately. Seneca suggests in his work, Letters from a Stoic, that a happy man is self-sufficient and realizes that happiness depends only on interior perfection. Despite the differences, both Epictetus and Seneca are considered Stoics because of their shared belief in the idea that character is the only guarantee of everlasting, carefree happiness. The world outside ourselves will never give us happiness, nor will it be responsible for our unhappiness. It doesn’t matter what’s happening outside ourselves, Epictetus and Seneca claim that the only thing that matters is how we interpret those events. Further evaluating Seneca’s, Letters from a Stoic and Epictetus’s, The Discourses and The Enchiridion, we will clearly be able to differentiate the two in their ideas and opinions regarding stoicism and the keys to living a well, happy life.
In the opening lines of Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle states, “Every craft and every line of inquiry, and likewise every action and decision, seems to seek some good; and that is why some people were right to describe the good at what everything seeks.” Aristotle often wrote about happiness, but so did Epicurus. In a broad sense, Aristotle and Epicurus touched on similar points when discussing happiness. They both believed that happiness is the ultimate goal in life, and that all human measures are taken to reach that goal. While Aristotle and Epicurus’ theories are similar in notion, a closer look proves they are different in many ways. In this paper, we will discuss the differences between Epicurus and Aristotle in their theories on happiness, and expand on some drawbacks of both arguments. Through discussing the drawbacks with both theories, we will also be determining which theory is more logical when determining how to live a happy life.
The ethics behind Epicureanism are very simple. Epicurus demonstrates that experience shows happiness is not best attained by directly seeking it. The selfish are not more happy but less so than the unselfish. This statement is very powerful for the simple person. Epicurus proves that if a person seeks to be happy he/she usually won't be able to find true happiness.