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Epicurus (Epikuros)

( Greek philosopher)

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Biography Epicurus (Epikuros)
Epicurus; Epikuros, 341-271 gg. BC. e., Greek philosopher. Son Neokla and Haristraty, an Athenian of the district Gardetos. Born on the island of Samos, where his father lived as one of the two thousand Athenian colonists sent there in 352-351 years. BC. e. Interest in philosophy, he showed very early: boy of fourteen, he turned to the teacher, so he told him where did Chaos, which Hesiod is the father of all. The teacher sent him to the philosophers. In 15 years, E. got in the Asia Minor city of Teos, where the school Navsifana met atomism of Democritus, who later became the basis of his philosophical system. Three years later he left Navsifana and went to Athens to serve as Ephebos compulsory military service (323-322 gg.).

In Plato's Academy listened Xenocrates. In 322 g. Athenians were forced to leave Samos, which resulted in the ruin of the family E. His father leaned in the colony, in 322 g. came to the same E. First he earned his living as a schoolteacher. The 32 year of age (310 g.) founded his own philosophical school in Mytilene on Lesbos, and then moved it to the city Lampsak at the Hellespont. By the terms of faithful disciples and friends E. in this period belonged to Germany, Metrodorus, Leontius, Idomeneo, Kolot and Polyaenus. In 306 g. E. returned to Athens, where Difilonskih near the gate, he bought a small garden and founded a philosophical school, known as the Garden (Kepos). It existed prior to IV. n. e., preserving the original teachings of his mentor and cultivating friendships, and fame than in antiquity. The starting point and the core philosophy of E. Ethics is the main task - an indication of the people towards a truly happy life.

Happiness E. understands hedonistic: the highest good is pleasure (hedone), evil - its opposite, pain. Man by nature seeks pleasure and avoids pain: why pleasure and pain seem human selection criteria and the basis of ethics, determine human actions. Hedonism E. - Despite the identity of the title - is fundamentally different from the philosophy of Aristippus. Epicurean pleasure - above all peace, the absence of suffering, freedom from the state of uncertainty (ataraksia). Its basis is suggested by the very fact of life the natural joy of life, based on the harmonic motion of atoms in the human world. Variations in this movement produce pain and suffering, making it impossible to obtain other pleasures that come from external stimuli. E introduced a hierarchy of pleasures, it is clearly separated the spiritual pleasure of corporal and spiritual preference is given to the undisputed. They are more durable and much richer, because embracing the past, present and future. You must be able to make sensible choices in the middle of pleasures, but a sensible idea (fronesis) is a prerequisite for a happy life.

Knowledge frees man from the fears and prejudices, which disturb and destroy all the joy. Sources of concern are: the fear of the gods, fear of death, and false views on good and evil. E. challenge them in the famous four postulates (tetrapharmakon): 1) God is not terrible, and 2) death, I do not feel, and 3) what is a true blessing, is easily achieved, all that is evil, it is easy to destroy. The gods are not like their vision of the majority of people. They are happy and free from strife, living in mezhdumiriyah (metakosmia, Latin. intermundia), they do not care about people. They are not thinking about the people after death, nor sends a car for life. Consequently, unjustified and the fear of god, and the fear of posthumous torment. There is no afterlife, because the human soul as the body is made up of atoms that split after the death. "Death is nothing to us, - says Epicurus, - for as long as we are, there is no death, but when there is death - not us". Preaching frailty, E. teaches people how to live happily.

It is easy to achieve happiness and satisfy the wishes and aspirations. E. divides them into three groups: 1) natural and necessary (physical and spiritual), 2) natural, but not necessary and 3) imaginary. The natural and inevitable bodily needs are few, they are confined mainly to the fact that not endure cold, hunger and thirst, their satisfaction, however, is a sine qua non of life, and therefore happiness. The spiritual needs of people require more effort. They include the knowledge of all things and the laws governing the world of atoms and the world of human emotions, aspirations and desires, which from his own point of view, classify and curbs Epicurean philosophy. Without understanding this can not be mental health, and, therefore, happy life, which preserved the natural reserve of joys, Kojima dressed us the nature of. Requirements natural, but not necessary - this, for example, love, maternal and paternal instincts; imaginary needs - nurturing ambitions, a thirst for riches and honors, and t. d. The fourth assertion - that there is evil, it is easy to destroy "- E. dedicates the fight against pain. Pain can not be avoided, and may need to take it over the top and try to soften her patience and firmness of spirit. Suffer the pain does not exclude the joy and intense pain of short duration, or she kills a man.

Many E took place in his writings friendship, which has always cultivated in his school. The famous injunction, "Live One" (Lathe biosas) was supposed to warn the Epicureans from participating in political life, to ensure the peaceful existence and create the best conditions for a philosophical work. Art of living happily serves as physics and theory of knowledge, or the Epicurean canon. Canon, teaching is clear and correct thinking and draw the right conclusions, should improve the human mind in the fight against prejudice, should help him to distinguish truth from falsehood. The truth we learn through experiences. All human experience and reporting true. On this basis it is possible by reflection through the lines to reach the truth. Mistakes and errors E. ascribes no sensations, but the judgments, because the evidence of the senses must be correctly interpreted by the idea. Possibility of errors E. explains through borrowed from Democritus's theory of "similarities" (eidola): break away from the objects of their exact "similarity", which penetrate the organs of the perceiver. Along the way they are, however, may change, either due to collision with other similarities, or passing through the human organs of perception. Should correct their reading and explanation of.

Epicureans in the details worked out so-called method of inductive reasoning, and describe all its stages. The principles of his physics E. adopted from Democritus, having made, however, a number of significant changes that are important for ethics. After providing an E. teaches that being born out of nothingness, and that the universe consists of atoms and void. Atoms and the void are eternal and unchanging in contrast to the increments of these bodies. Atoms E. ascribes four properties: elasticity, shape, size and weight, while Democritus ascribed to them only firmness, size and shape. Introducing weight, E. with his help explain the basic motion of atoms - the fall. E. also limited the infinite forms of atoms of the six schemes. All atoms are in constant motion. In the same way yielding emptiness they fall at the same speed, regardless of weight. Not deviating from the vertical, the atoms in its fall could not find. To explain how to obtain connections of atoms, gave rise to the worlds, E. creates a theory of so-called parenklizy. In addition to the fall in a straight line, he attributes the atoms is another kind of motion, namely the ability to spontaneous minimal deviation from a given direction. Parenkliticheskoe deviation is really small, but it is of great importance both for the Epicurean physics and ethics for. At the moment when an atom randomly released at the moment of the inevitability of the fall, when it breaks down to some extent intended by nature framework, at this moment Epicurean philosophy overcomes the determinism of Democritus. Parenkliza for the atom - is what creates an individual action, and in the field of ethics, it is the physical basis of the doctrine of free will.

E. taught that the atoms, except elasticity size, shape and weight, and mobility, have no other properties. They are not inherent qualities such as heat, cold, color, taste, smell, common to the feelings and consciousness that present the properties of certain compounds of atoms and changing, when changing this structure. These qualities do not exist objectively, but are "symbols" of objective structures of atoms and have the character of our mental reactions to external stimuli. The human soul as the material and, like the whole body, is a combination of atoms. Atoms of the soul round, smooth, small and mobile, their own efforts they can not create a connection. Consequently, the soul can not exist without the body, which serves as her defense. She dies in the moment of death, since the compound is dispersed in violation of the atoms and their movement. E. creatively developed ethical theory of Democritus, just as it enriched his physics. Hedonism E. played in the history of philosophy prominent role atomistic physics has become an important milestone in the development of materialism. In the book. X the philosopher Diogenes Laertius has preserved for us 3 letter E.; to Herodotus (statement of physics), to Menokeyu (description of ethics) and the main ideas (Kyriai doksai). Beyond that, we have 81 Epicurean maxim - the so-called Gnomologium Vaticanum, as well as numerous fragments of other works, especially from the writings on the nature (Peri physeos) in gerkulanumskih papyri.


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