Aristotle And Epicurus: Ethics And The Purpose Of Life

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Ethics is the standards of right and wrong that advise what humans must do. Epicurus is one of the philosophers who taught about these ethics. Epicurus believed that the purpose of life was to attain pleasure. He believed that by attaining pleasure, one can live a good, happy life. Although this was his view on life, other philosophers such as his contemporary, Aristotle, had different views of what the purpose of life was. Epicurus was one of the major philosophers during his time. He was an ancient Greek philosopher who lived from 341 BC to 270 BC. Epicurus died from kidney stones. He grew up in an Athenian colony called Samos which is an island in the Mediterranean Sea. Epicurus studied under followers of Democritus and Plato. He is also …show more content…
They both believed that the purpose of human actions was to be happy, which would lead to a good life. For Aristotle, he believed that we strive towards goals in order to find happiness (telos). He also believed that nobody pursues happiness for the sake of something else. Therefore, Aristotle concluded that happiness makes life worthwhile. For Epicurus, he believed that human pleasure was the ultimate happiness. He believed that virtues were a way to gain human pleasure. Aristotle did not agree with pleasure being the source of happiness. Instead, he believed that a person should look out for their own self-interests. Secondly, both philosophers believed that happiness can be found in the community. However, the way the philosophers used the word, “community” was different. For Aristotle, he believed that putting other people first would make the environment a better, happier place. For Epicurus however, his use of community is said in terms of justice. Epicurus believed the community should not harm another to achieve pleasure. Also, Epicurus based his ethics from Aristotle’s teaching that the “highest good is what is valued for its own sake, and not for the sake of anything else”. He also agrees with Aristotle that happiness is the highest good. Although Epicurus based some of his beliefs on Aristotle’s beliefs, Epicurus’ beliefs are different and

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