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Stoicism and Epicureanism

pubblicato da Human and Literature Publishing

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The radical difference between Stoicism and Epicureanism is one which has announced itself in metaphysics no less than in morals, in speculative no less than in practical philosophy. The distinction is expressed in the antithetical terms feeling and thought, sensation and reason, sensualism and naturalism, passion and intellect; and when looked at from a moral and religious point of view, in the antithesis of the flesh and the spirit, carnal-mindedness and spiritual-mindedness. All these expressions point to a distinction which has divided the world, and the adjustment and explanation of which has occupied the attention of philosophers, both speculative and practical, from the earliest times.

Stoicism and Epicureanism have their roots in this distinction, and are to be regarded merely as a new and marked form in which the distinction was propounded and enforced. The Stoic assigns pre-eminence to thought, reason, the spirit. The Epicurean gives the chief place to feeling, sensation, the flesh. When Stoicism is carried to excess, it leads to pride, and asceticism, and pharisaism. When Epicureanism is carried to excess, it degenerates into effeminacy and carnality.

But we should form a very erroneous estimate of these two schemes if we looked at them merely in their excess. Pride and austerity are the abuses of Stoicism. Effeminacy and sensuality are the vices of Epicureanism. By looking to these abuses we certainly obtain some notion of the tendencies of these systems, but we gain no insight into their true principles and essential characteristics.

In its popular sense, the word Epicureanism stands for a refined and calculating selfishness, seeking not power or fame, but the pleasures of sense, particularly of the palate, and those in company rather than solitude. An epicure is one who is extremely choice and delicate in his viands. In the other sense, Epicureanism signifies a philosophical system, which includes a theory of conduct, of nature, and of mind.

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Generi Psicologia e Filosofia » Filosofia occidentale e Storia della filosofia

Editore Human And Literature Publishing

Formato Ebook con Adobe DRM

Pubblicato 04/08/2023

Lingua Inglese

EAN-13 9782384691739

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