Epicureans

A philosophical school founded by Epicurus (342–270 BCE), who taught in a garden at Athens. He propounded an atomic theory of the universe; the atoms which comprise human beings are scattered at death, so there is no existence after death, and nothing to be feared. In his Ethics Epicurus taught that the absence of pain is the greatest good; it consists primarily in a repose of mind. Virtue tends to this repose; therefore virtue is essential for happiness.
Not surprisingly, Paul made little headway when he confronted Epicureans at Athens (Acts 17:32) in 50 CE. The modern use of Epicureanism to mean self-indulgence does not do justice to the subtlety of the ancient philosophy.

Dictionary of the Bible.

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  • Epicureans — Epicureanism …   Philosophy dictionary

  • Epicureans —    Followers of Epicurus (who died at Athens B.C. 270), or adherents of the Epicurean philosophy (Acts 17:18). This philosophy was a system of atheism, and taught men to seek as their highest aim a pleasant and smooth life. They have been called… …   Easton's Bible Dictionary

  • EPICUREANS —    a sect of philosophers who derived their name from Epicurus, and who divided the empire of philosophy with the STOICS (q.v.), at the birth of Christ; they held that the chief end of man was happiness, that the business of philosophy was to… …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Epicureanism — is a system of philosophy based upon the teachings of Epicurus ( c . 341 ndash; c . 270 BC), founded around 307 BC. Epicurus was an atomic materialist, following in the steps of Democritus. His materialism led him to a general attack on… …   Wikipedia

  • Epicureanism — Stephen Everson It is tempting to portray Epicureanism as the most straightforward, perhaps even simplistic, of the major dogmatic philosophical schools of the Hellenistic age. Starting from an atomic physics, according to which ‘the totality of… …   History of philosophy

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  • Sceptics (The) — The sceptics Michael Frede INTRODUCTION When we speak of ‘scepticism’ and of ‘sceptics’, we primarily think of a philosophical position according to which nothing is known for certain, or even nothing can be known for certain. There are certain… …   History of philosophy

  • ethics — /eth iks/, n.pl. 1. (used with a sing. or pl. v.) a system of moral principles: the ethics of a culture. 2. the rules of conduct recognized in respect to a particular class of human actions or a particular group, culture, etc.: medical ethics;… …   Universalium

  • Logic — • A historical survey from Indian and Pre Aristotelian philosophy to the Logic of John Stuart Mill Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Logic     Logic      …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Philosophy — • Detailed article on the history of the love of wisdom Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Philosophy     Philosophy     † …   Catholic encyclopedia

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