Letter To The Philosopher:
Life Epicurus was born around B. He was about 19 when Aristotle died, and he studied philosophy under followers of Democritus and Plato. Epicurus founded his first philosophical schools in Mytilene and Lampsacus, before moving to Athens around B.
There Epicurus founded the Garden, a combination of philosophical community and school. The residents of the Garden put Epicurus' teachings into practice.
Epicurus died from kidney stones around or B. After Epicurus' death, Epicureanism continued to flourish as a philosophical movement. Communities of Epicureans sprang up throughout the Hellenistic world; along with Stoicismit was one of the major philosophical schools competing for people's allegiances.
Epicureanism went into decline with the rise of Christianity. Certain aspects of Epicurus' thought were revived during the Renaissance and early modern periods, when reaction against scholastic neo-Aristotelianism led thinkers to turn to mechanistic explanations of natural phenomena.
Sources Epicurus was a voluminous writer, but almost none of his own work survives. A likely reason for this is that Christian authorities found his ideas ungodly.
Diogenes Laertius, who probably lived in the third century CEwrote a book Lives of the Philosophers, which includes A letter to a philosopher of Epicurus' letters in its recounting of the life and teachings of Epicurus.
These three letters are brief summaries of major areas of Epicurus' philosophy: It also includes the Principal Doctrines, 40 sayings which deal mainly with ethical matters. Because of the absence of Epicurus' own writings, we have to rely on later writers to reconstruct Epicurus' thought.
Two of our most important sources are the Roman poet Lucretius c. Cicero was an adherent of the skeptical academywho wrote a series of works setting forth the major philosophical systems of his day, including Epicureanism.
Another major source is the essayist Plutarch c. However, both Cicero and Plutarch were very hostile toward Epicureanism, so they must be used with care, since they often are less than charitable toward Epicurus, and may skew his views to serve their own purposes.
Although the major outlines of Epicurus' thought are clear enough, the lack of sources means many of the details of his philosophy are still open to dispute. Metaphysics Epicurus believes that the basic constituents of the world are atoms which are uncuttable, microscopic bits of matter moving in the void which is simply empty space.
Ordinary objects are conglomerations of atoms.
Furthermore, the properties of macroscopic bodies and all of the events we see occurring can be explained in terms of the collisions, reboundings, and entanglements of atoms. Arguments for the Existence of Atoms and Void Epicurus' metaphysics starts from two simple points: Epicurus takes the first point to be simply a datum of experience.
The second point is a commonplace of ancient Greek philosophy, derived from the Principle of Sufficient Reason the principle that for everything which occurs there is a reason or explanation for why it occurs, and why this way rather than that.
First, because bodies move, there must be empty space for them to move in, and Epicurus calls this empty space 'void. However, Epicurus thinks that this process of division cannot go on indefinitely, because otherwise bodies would dissolve away into nothing. Also, there must be basic and unchangeable building blocks of matter in order to explain the regularities in nature.
These non-compound bodies are atoms--literally, 'uncuttables. Other things--such as colors, time, and justice--are ultimately explicable as attributes of bodies.
Properties of Atoms, Limitlessness of the Universe Because Epicurus believes that nothing comes into existence from nothing, he thinks that the universe has no beginning, but has always existed, and will always exist.
Atoms, too, as the basic building blocks of all else, cannot come into existence, but have always existed. Our particular cosmos, however, is only a temporary agglomeration of atoms, and it is only one of an infinite number of such cosmoi, which come into existence and then dissolve away.
Against Aristotle, Epicurus argues that the universe is unlimited in size.Letter to a 20 or 21 Century Philosopher PHI/ September 23, Letter to a 20 or 21 Century Philosopher I am writing this letter to John Dewey regarding his theory of pragmatism.
I am choosing this theory because it interests me in . Philosophy is a wonderful subject, but it does have its dangers. Some people think that philosophy in itself leads one away from God. This isn't true at all, but given the composition of philosophy in our culture at large, it is certainly an understandable opinion.
Synesius, Letter Synesius of Cyrene (cc) was a Neo-Platonic philosopher who became bishop of Ptolemais in the Cyrenaica. He left behind a small corpus of texts that offer much information about daily life in Late Antiquity, and about the christianization of the Roman world.
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The motivated student can also attend colloquia at . Dec 05, · Moral letters to Lucilius/Letter 8. On the Philosopher's Seclusion. 1. "Do you bid me," you say, "shun the throng, and withdraw from men, and be content with my own conscience? Where are the counsels of your school, which order a man to die in the midst of active work?".
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