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”(newadvent.org). 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.
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Through the eyes of the beholder a person can be able to see that Epicureanism, in fact, can be put into the context of life without really thinking about the philosophy. The history of Epicureanism is important for people because his teachings are simple enough to live by, without submitting.
The ethics behind Epicureanism are very simple. Epicurus demonstrates that experience shows happiness is not best attained by directly seeking it. The selfish are not more happy but less so than the unselfish. This statement is very powerful for the simple person. Epicurus proves that if a person seeks to be happy he/she usually won’t be able to find true happiness.
Thus although virtue is inseparable from pleasure and necessary if we are to be happy, it is to be chosen not for its own sake but for the sake of pleasure. Beauty and the virtues and the like are to be honored if they provide pleasure, but, if they do not, we must say goodbye to them.(Intro. Epicurus, 124)
Happiness can only be found through the desire to be happy first, and then it maybe sought.
Another ethic for Epicureanism is friendship. 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