Biography of Epicurus

Biography of Epicurus

Epicurus was a Greek philosopher of antiquity, laying the foundations of Epicurean philosophy.

Childhood and the way of life

Epicurus was born in 341 BC. e. in the family of the Neocles and Heresstratins. A few years before the birth of the boy, his father moved to an Athenian settlement on the island of Samos in the Aegean Sea. There Epicurus is brought up. For four years he studied philosophy under the guidance of Pamphylia, a follower of the teachings of Plato. After this, at the age of eighteen, Epicurus goes to Athens, where he will serve for two years. After the death of Alexander the Great, his successor Perdikka moves the Athenians from the island of Samos to the city of Kolofon, located on the territory of modern Turkey. There Epicurus and sent after the service. He learns from Nozifan, who opened him the teachings of Democritus. Between 311 and 310 BC. e. Epicurus teaches in Mytilene, but after some disagreements with local authorities leave this city. From there, he travels to Lampsak, where he establishes his own school. In 306 BC. e. Epicurus returns to Athens, where he will stay until his death in 270 BC. e. In this city the philosopher acquires a land allotment, where he establishes a school called “The Garden of Epicurus”.

The name was given to the school because the classes took place in the garden, located at the house of the philosopher. The very first students were Germarch, Idomeneo, Leontieu and his wife Temista, the

author of satirical philosophical works Kolot, Polien from Lampsac and Metrodor from Lampsaka. “Garden of Epicurus” became the first Greek school that allowed a woman to study. Epicurus always proclaimed friendship as a very important element on the road to a happy life, and therefore his school helped in every possible way to the formation of friendly companies. Despite the fact that the formation of the philosophy of the school was influenced by the teachings of its predecessors, and Democritus in particular, later Epicurus will renounce them. Of all the written sources to this day came only three letters, included in Volume X of the “Lives of outstanding philosophers” Diogenes Laertius. Here we find two quotation cycles, known as the “Principle Doctrines” of Epicurus. Some fragments of this work, once consisting of XXXVII volumes and bearing the title “Treatise on Nature”, were found in the Vile Papyrus in Herculaneum.

The Teaching of Epicurus

Epicurus played a significant role in the development of science and scientific methods, calling for the foundation of conclusions on direct observation and deductive reasoning. His ideas largely anticipate the most important scientific theories of our time. The teachings of Epicurus and his egalitarian views made him a prominent figure in Axial Time, which lasted from 800 to 200 BC. e. It is Epicurus, his theory of “mutual benefit,” lays the foundation of the ancient Greek concept of ethics as such. His teachings take their origins from various theories of ancient Greek thinkers, but more closely overlap with the principles of Democritus’ teachings. Like Democritus, Epicurus is an atomist and firmly believes that the world consists of invisible material particles moving in space. According to his teaching, everything that happens in the world happens due to a collision, mutual repulsion and interaction of atoms, the actions of which have neither laws nor goals. The theory of atomism Epicurus was at variance with the early theory of Democritus, arguing that atoms do not always move in a straight line, but often spontaneously deviate from their own trajectory. This statement served as a strong proof of the existence of free will. Epicurus first defeated the fear of the gods and violated the existing traditions of worshiping them. In addition, he actively participated in the religious life of the society. This statement served as a strong proof of the existence of free will. Epicurus first defeated the fear of the gods and violated the existing traditions of worshiping them. In addition, he actively participated in the religious life of the society. This statement served as a strong proof of the existence of free will. Epicurus first defeated the fear of the gods and violated the existing traditions of worshiping them. In addition, he actively participated in the religious life of the society.

According to the teachings of Epicurus, religious activity is an integral element of thinking about God, setting an example of a happy life. He denied the generally accepted statement that God punishes the wicked and rewards the good. On the contrary, according to Epicurus, God does not care about human beings at all. The philosopher declares that all the good that happens to people originates from pleasure or pain. Everything that hurts is bad, as well as everything that brings pleasure is good. His teaching also states that there are cases when pain, preferred to pleasure, subsequently leads to bliss. His calls to seek bliss with all his strength by many were misunderstood, but the true meaning of these words is that, having got rid of pain, a person is freed from fear and punishment from heaven. From this Epicurus deduces that, without feeling pain, man no longer needs pleasure, and therefore attains the highest spiritual peace. He strongly warns against excess, because they invariably lead to pain. This law applies to everything, and to love as well. The most sure way to happiness Epicurus calls friendship. He also refutes the fear of death, arguing that “death for us is nothing.” The philosopher develops this thought, adding that every feeling, consciousness and sensation with death disappears, after which there is no pain or pleasure. that “death for us is nothing.” The philosopher develops this thought, adding that every feeling, consciousness and sensation with death disappears, after which there is no pain or pleasure. that “death for us is nothing.” The philosopher develops this thought, adding that every feeling, consciousness and sensation with death disappears, after which there is no pain or pleasure.

Death

Epicurus suffered from urolithiasis, which in 270 BC. e. He overcomes him, leading to death. The philosopher died at the age of 72 years. During his life he never married, and so he did not leave any heirs after himself.

The heritage of the philosopher

Many thinkers and ideological movements throughout the history of Western philosophical thought took the basis of the theory of the Epicurean doctrine. Its influence is clearly traced in atomistic poems – as, for example, “All in the world is ruled by an atom” – as well as in the natural philosophy of Margaret Cavendish. During the period of the French Revolution, the ideology of the coup d’etat will take over the theory of “mutual benefit” of Epicurus. His egalitarian views will form the basis of the American liberation movement and the US Declaration of Independence. Thomas Jefferson called himself an Epicurean and proclaimed that “all men are created equal.” The influence of these teachings on Western philosophical thought is confirmed by the fact that Karl Marx received his doctorate for his work on the topic “The Difference between the Philosophy of Democritus and Epicurus”. The teachings of Epicurus became a source of inspiration for the works of many philosophers, including Arthur Schopenhauer and Friedrich Nietzsche. The similarity of the philosophy of the latter with the ideology of Epicureanism is evident in his works “Merry Science”, “On the Other Side of Good and Evil”, as well as in personal correspondence with Peter Gast.


Biography of Epicurus