Essay on Happiness and Epicurus

1436 Words Apr 23rd, 2005 6 Pages
Epicureanism is a philosophy developed the teachings and ideals of a man named Epicurus. Epicureanism is defined by Epicurus as the pleasure for the end of all morality and that real pleasure is attained through a life of prudence, honor, and justice. Epicurus introduced this philosophy around 322 B.C, and two schools established in Athens. Epicurus taught the ethics of his philosophy in his school, that a person should live by "the art of making life happy", and that "prudence is the noblest part of philosophy"( Epicurus ideals for life intrigued people and they began to think that perhaps the ethics of Epicureanism had some truth behind it; a person should live his/her life to the fullest in order to become happy. Epicurus …show more content…
For Epicurus, the teachings of friendship are plain and simple. He teaches that if a person uses friendship for the sake of advantage, it is not true friendship in the proper sense of the word. If a person uses external actions to gain things, apart from affection, then it can not represent friendship. In order for friendship to be fulfilled, the person must show that deep down, he or she, would be there for a friend and in his other deepest thoughts of giving up and having problems, then that person, would help him or her through them, and not just walk away. If friendships exist for the sake of advantage, and are employed in the search for the highest pleasure, there may be a point at which their claims will have to be set aside.(Intro. Epicurus, 129) For friendship, virtue tends to produce the truest and highest pleasure of all. Epicureanism is also based on the ethics of truth. The test of truth is pleasant and a painful belief. Epicurus is teaching that the truth is shown, just as a dog may bark furiously at a person that the dog has never seen before, but welcomes strangers belonging to the master. Through the system of showing truth, a person can see that it is a hard road travel, but it is the most satisfying. Another virtue comes from the head itself, known as wisdom. Epicurus identifies this as the most basic virtue. To live wisely, by Epicurean standards, is to bring a broad awareness of life down to the level of our daily

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