What is Epicureanism? EpicureansJune 29, 2021
It is possible to answer the question of what is Epicureanism as follows: Epicureism is the philosophy teaching of Epicurus, one of the most important philosophers of the Hellenistic period. Philosophers who follow the Epicurean movement are also called Epicureans.
The first major philosophical school of the Hellenistic period was the Epicurean School, which was the defender of the Epicurean understanding. The school was founded by Epicurus, one of the most important philosophers of the time.
Epicurus, one of the most interesting thinkers of Ancient Greek thought, built his philosophy on Democritus’ atomism and Pyrrhon’s skepticism. In other words, in the roots of the Epicurean movement and in the Epicurean understanding of philosophy, atomism and skepticism appear as pioneering currents of thought.
EPICURITY AND MATERIALISM
One of the masters of scientific materialism, in his doctoral thesis titled the difference between Democtritos’ natural philosophy and Epicurus’s, which he gave in Jena on April 15, 1841, explained how Epicurus enriched the atomic thought and made it the center of action, how he softened his understanding of determinism and focused on chance and the intervention of human will. He tells how he saved philosophy from religion and the idea of god, and describes him as a first-degree thinker.
According to him, materialism has never been a simple mechanism since the First Age, and it is Epicurus who best expresses it.
THE EPICURISTS’ MATERIAL PHILOSOPHY
B.C. Born in 341 BC, Epicurus is best known in the history of philosophy as a moralist who advocated a certain way of life.
He was interested in the troubles of human life, and thought that man’s unhappiness in this world stems from false beliefs about gods, death and destiny, and that these false beliefs can only be eliminated with a view of existence that will reveal their falsehood and groundlessness.
In other words, Epicurus, whose original contribution was in the field of ethics, had to reveal a certain view of knowledge and existence in order to achieve this goal.
Within this framework, Epicurus, who thought that the purpose of philosophy was to help people lead a happy life, was of the opinion that special sciences would not contribute anything to this goal, just like Socrates.
According to him, we must have a logical knowledge or a theory of knowledge in order to have a sound knowledge criterion while reaching the correct information about existence. Secondly, we must have a knowledge of physics or existence in order to understand the natural causes of things and events, that everything that exists is the work of natural causes, not supernatural.
This is really useful information because it will save us from the fear of God, death, and fate. As a matter of fact, he tried to save people from these fears with his materialistic view. Finally, we have an obligation to recognize and know human nature in order to learn why we should avoid and pursue, what we desire and why we should avoid.
As in Septicism and Stoicism, Epicurus turned to practical philosophy, that is, to moral philosophy and showed activity in this field.
HAPPINESS AND PLEASURE IN EPICURITY
The Epicurean movement, “How is the happiness of each individual ensured and maintained?” He answered the question as follows:
He should enjoy life, but with reflection. In other words, a good life is one that is as prosperous as it is free from pain and suffering. Throughout our lives, we must calculate to get the most well-being and happiness and endure the least amount of pain and suffering. For example; Should I seek instant, intense pleasure in the present at the expense of suffering later, or should I delay present pleasure in hopes of achieving longer-lasting happiness in the future?
We have to calculate profit and loss among alternative options. In other words, this is the attitude of a wise and self-aware hedonist! Search for pleasure; but let this pleasure be calculated, planned! More precisely, do not get involved in politics or other matters that bring anxiety and risk!
Instead, look to be in a protected environment where you can enjoy your wine and cheese in peace and tranquility. The Epicureans, therefore, are not like those who lead an immoral life blindly indulged in indulgence and pursuit of fulfillment. On the contrary, Epicurus advised caution and prudence in life; because pleasure is the only thing we have control over to ensure happiness.
EPICURIST PHILOSOPHY OF LIFE
The Epicurean philosophy of life can be summarized in two points:
The only “good” that exists is pleasure.
To ensure maximum pleasure, we must enjoy only those pleasures that we can control.
In this context, Epicureanism emerges as a hedonism shaped by caution and prudence. In the first place, the Epicureans do not see pleasure as instant sensory desire; Epicureanism emphasizes more refined, secure forms of well-being and happiness, such as friendship and literary enthusiasm. If we are to assure and preserve our personal happiness, we must seek more subtle and refined pleasures such as these.