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Debate Between The Epicureans And The Stoics - Term Paper Example

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Debate Between The Epicureans And The Stoics

The Epicureans were contributed by Epicurus who was a Greek philosopher who lived between 341 BC and 270 BC. Epicurus founded the Garden in Athens in which he and his followers lived and practiced Epicurus’ philosophical ways of life. At the entrance of this place, they hanged a writing stating that Stranger, here you will do well to tarry. Here our highest good is pleasure’1. From this writing among others, the Epicureans are considered hedonists who believe that humanity should fulfill their earthly desires and pleasures and should never try or live according to the will of God in the same way as the Stoics. In other words, they note that humanity should try to live in some sort of happiness and pleasure while they are still on earth or before their death. Notably, the contribution attributed to these two schools of thoughts can be narrowed down to the Aristotelian school of thought that dictates that "the sort of person one is and the lifestyle one adopts will indeed have an immediate bearing on the actions one performs." Nonetheless, the Stoic is more plausible than the Epicureans school of thought. The Epicurean school of thought is divided into two axial lines of desires including natural and unnatural fulfillments. Some of these fulfillments may be considered necessary in life while others are considered unnecessary. Form these distinctions; it is apparent only some of the natural and necessary desires can be fulfilled while the other branch of categories, the unnatural and unnecessary desires are irrelevant and cannot be fulfilled. Nearly all the unnatural and unnecessary class of desires prescribed by Epicureans never exists. This is because only what natural desires are truly necessary and they are what exist. In other words, even the natural and unnecessary desires are never vital to the human life; thus, they must be considered void since they never satisfy human needs but they can only lead to confusion and disturbance of inner self sufficient or the autarkeia2. Notably, from this classification of desires, it is apparent that their something or desires that are never necessary in human life and living them as means of self-fulfillment will only lead to destabilization of an individual’s inner self sufficiency. These two schools of thoughts also address their concerns on pleasure. Epicureanism classifies sexual intercourse as natural but unnecessary desire. In this case, Epicurus does not spell out total abstinence from sexual pleasures, but he thinks that such pleasure should be sampled carefully so that they are not confused with natural and necessary human desires. Epicurus once stated "Sexual intercourse never helped anyone, and one must be satisfied if it has not harmed3." In other words, he was noting that natural but unnecessary desires should be enjoyed while balancing such acts carefully in clear thinking minds. According Epicurus, for an individual “To enjoy these unnecessary desires and to not make of them necessities, to take free pleasure in the unnecessary, this is the highest achievement4." However, this contribution varies Stoics that states that former believes makes make a person more virtuous that they can easily and effective sample natural and unnecessary without them being overwhelmed by these choices. In other words, Stoics contributes the fact that all human desires are governed by some natural forces that humanity must be answerable to; thus, it worth examining and individuals’ experience in order to define his or her next move. Additionally, Stoics argue that pleasure may lead threaten an individual tranquility; thus, it should be avoided at all costs. Additionally, other than pleasure, these two schools o ...Show more


Understanding ten debates between the Epicureans and the Stoics and determine which of the two arguments is plausible in the understating philosophy of life, it is vital the each of these philosophical aspects are understood well and their applications determined…
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Debate Between The Epicureans And The Stoics essay example
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