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The Philosophy of Epicurus - Essay Example

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The Philosophy of Epicurus

The essay "The Philosophy of Epicurus" discusses the Epicurus's thoughts regarding the capability of everyone for seeking wisdom, the happiness to be the ultimate objective of studying philosophy and concerning religion.
At the beginning of the first paragraph of his “”Letter to Menoeceus”, Epicurus says that everyone either young or old should study philosophy because “it is never too early nor too late to care for the well-being of the soul”. According to him, philosophy can bring happiness to the soul. One should study it for the happiness of mind. Again Epicurus says that the young people “can retain the happiness of youth in his pleasant memories of the past” when the old can enjoy the fearlessness of the youth even in their old age: “although he is old he may at the same time be young by virtue of his fearlessness of the future.” Again at the end of the paragraph, he comments that the ultimate objective of studying philosophy is “securing happiness”, and therefore “we do everything in order to gain it”. We can infer that Epicurus believed that happiness is the ultimate objective of studying philosophy.
According to Epicurus, our “common sense” or “popular opinion” tells us that gods must be immortal and blessed. Indeed this “common sense” is man’s capability of reasoning or proving something by something by logic. The commonality of man’s perception of himself or others lies at the heart of these “reasons” or “common sense”....
Thus we can infer that Epicurus believed that happiness is the ultimate objective of studying philosophy. The Gods 3. Epicurus supposes that we know the gods to be immortal and blessed. Why does he suppose this? According to Epicurus, our “common sense” or “popular opinion” tells us that gods must be immortal and blessed. Indeed this “common sense” is man’s capability of reasoning or proving something by something by logic. In the first place, we must accept that man’s capability of reasoning or devising logic is very subjective. That is, the commonality of man’s perception about himself or others lies at the heart of these “reasons” or “common sense”. Man commonly perceives himself as a subject to ephemera and to death: “while we exist death is not present and when death is present we no longer exist” (Epicurus). Man reasons that gods exist even while “we no longer exist”. But since people popularly believe that gods send blessings and evils to men (though Epicurus assumes these popular beliefs, about gods to have concerns for men, as something wrong) ages after ages, man reasons that they must be immortal and blessed; otherwise, they would not be able to do so. Thus Epicurus supposes that “commonsense” provokes men to popularly accept that the gods are immortal and blessed. Again once Epicurus says that “Most men do not retain the picture of the gods that they first receive” (Epicurus 2). This sentence may refer to Epicurus’s belief that man’s knowledge about gods is inborn. This innate or inborn idea about gods’ immortality and blessedness provokes everyone to form a popular opinion that gods must be immortal and blessed. 4. Epicurus infers from the fact that the gods are the immortal and ...Show more


This essay considers the different aspects of Epicurus's philosophy regarding the gods' immortality and blessing, how the immortality of the gods implies that they won’t trouble us or would they help us. The paper also discusses the Epicurus's words that everyone is capable of seeking wisdom…
Author : abernhard
The Philosophy of Epicurus essay example
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