epicureanism


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epicureanism

(ĕp'ĭkyo͝orē`ənĭz'əm), philosophy that follows the teachings of EpicurusEpicurus
, 341–270 B.C., Greek philosopher, b. Samos; son of an Athenian colonist. He 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.
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, who held that pleasure is the end of all morality and that real pleasure is attained through a life of prudence, honor, and justice. The philosophy was popular throughout the ancient world; it was spread by the successors of Epicurus, who included Polystratus, Zeno of Sidon, and Philodemus of Gadara. Only in later times did epicureanism come to mean devotion to extravagant pleasure.

Epicureanism

 

the philosophical teaching derived from the ideas of Epicurus.

The philosophical school (called the Garden) that Epicurus founded in Athens was one of the most influential intellectual currents of the Hellenic age along with Stoicism, its constant opponent in philosophical debate. The most famous members of the early Garden (fourth and third centuries B.C.) were Metrodorus, Polyaenus, Hermarchus, and Colotes; those of the middle period (second and first centuries B.C.) were Zeno of Sidon, Phaedrus, and Philodemus of Gadara. Phaedrus (who taught Cicero) and Philodemus (who may have been Lucretius’ teacher) brought Epicureanism to Rome. The outstanding achievement of Roman Epicureanism is Lucretius’ narrative poem On the Nature of Things (first century B.C.). The Epicurean school remained in existence until the middle of the fourth century.

A revival of Epicureanism (especially its ethics and its atomistic teachings) occurred during the Renaissance; its ideas continued to spread during the 17th and 18th centuries and were most consistently developed by P. Gassendi. Epicureanism was also frequently understood in the vulgar sense—that is, as the cult of sensory pleasures (for example, in ancient Rome, among the philosophers of the Renaissance, and during the Enlightenment in France).

REFERENCES

See references under .

A. L. DOBROKHOTOV

Epicureanism

See also Feast.
Belshazzar
gave banquet unrivalled for sumptuousness. [O.T.: Daniel 5:1–4]
Finches of the Grove
eating club established for expensive dining. [Br. Lit.: Great Expectations]
Gatsby, Jay
modern Trimalchio, wines and dines the upper echelon. [Am. Lit.: The Great Gatsby]
Lucullus, Lucius Licinius
(110–57 B.C.) gave luxurious banquets. [Rom. Hist.: New Century, 650]
Marius
young pagan who follows the original philosophical tenets of Epicurus in his search for an answer to life. [Br. Lit.: Pater Marius the Epicurean in Magill II, 630]
Trimalchio
vulgar freedman gives lavish feast for noble guests. [Rom. Lit.: Satyricon]
References in periodicals archive ?
In addition to extending Epicurean physics by comparing it to contemporary physics, Tending the Epicurean Garden does a fine job of bringing other aspects of Epicureanism up to date.
Most prominent among these are Epicureanism, a doctrine that privileges individual perception of the material world and its pleasures, and Roman Stoicism, a complex philosophical system that (among other things) warns of the dangers of unconstrained pleasure and emotion.
Pythagoras becomes a holy figure for both the late antique world, and late-fifteenth-century Florentine religious reformers in their attempts to present an intellectually credible Christian theology against what Ficino thought a growing Epicureanism and a materialistic or naturalistic Averroeism within late medieval theology.
Epicureanism, socinianism, and deism featured with increasing prominence, reason and religion were harmonized by Locke and others, there was less talk of the devil, less witch-hunting, and economic arguments in favor of religious toleration were unashamedly paraded.
When the scene shifts to Roman Brittany, Schildgen finds that the Franklin rehabilitates Epicureanism as "a practical ethics for living in a courtly or noble atmosphere" (75).
In fact, though, Epicureanism is a deeply ascetic philosophy.
According to historians of ethics, the Aristotelian tradition pervaded the study of ethics from the 14th to the 16th centuries, while strong interests in the ethical ideas of Platonism, Stoicism, and Epicureanism continued, oftentimes viewed independently from Christian moral ethics (Kraye 63-79).
Even Epicureanism, which rejected belief in any deity, was more of a reaction against the whims of the Greek pantheon.
And to charge that Bultmann derived his scientific model of the universe as a closed system from his doctoral studies of ancient Epicureanism -
A survey of the three main schools of Hellenistic thought: Epicureanism, Skepticism, and Stoicism.
I would take serious issue on several points: the positive interpretation of Camille's utopian (and sublimely naive) vision of the State as being a reflection of Buchner's own stance; the tendency to identify Danton with Buchner, for example in the advocacy of epicureanism as a global explanation of human behaviour; Danton's interlude with Marion being presented as the antithesis of Lacroix's debunking of it, rather than as self-delusion ruthlessly exposed by Lacroix; the insistence on the idea of Buchner creating idealized visions of womanhood on which the male characters depend (could there be a clearer display of down-to-earth, oft-rehearsed pragmatism than that of Julie calming Danton in the 'September' scene?
Torquatus up to scratch and dissuade him from his Epicureanism, used here to suggest relaxation into a pleasure with which neither Epicurus nor Cicero could properly have found fault.