2. I do fear death mostly because I fear what I do not understand. Democritus thinks that, in reality, only atoms and the void exist, and that sensible qualities such as sweetness, whiteness, and the like exist only ‘by convention.’ It is controversial exactly how to understand Democritus’ position, but most likely he is asserting that atoms themselves have no sensible qualities–they are simply extended bits of stuff. According to Epicurus, pleasure is necessary for living a happy life. Rather, I do everything I can to live a pleasurable life. The living have not yet been annihilated (otherwise they wouldn’t be alive). Thus, Epicurus’s views on pleasure are the basis for entire moral and ethical theory. Imagine if you will a lush garden full of fresh fruits and vegetables. Epicurus, an ancient Hellenistic philosopher, was a materialist who asserted that everything in existence is composed of matter and is the result of the random collision of atoms. He is pessimistic about our ability to gain any knowledge about the world on the basis of our senses, since they systematically deceive us about the way the world is. The mind is composed of four different types of particles–fire, air, wind, and the “nameless element,” which surpasses the other particles in its fineness. Epicurus further denotes that death signifies the end of an individual’s soul and body, and therefore there is no need of fearing it. Because of its denial of divine providence, Epicureanism was often charged in antiquity with being a godless philosophy, although Epicurus and his followers denied the charge. According to Epicurus, one should seek pleasure. Sensations give us information about the external world, and we can test the judgments based upon sensations against further sensations; e.g., a provisional judgment that a tower is round, based upon sensation, can be tested against later sensations to be corroborated or disproved. As Epicurus puts it, “If you wish to make Pythocles wealthy, don’t give him more money; rather, reduce his desires.” By eliminating the pain caused by unfulfilled desires, and the anxiety that occurs because of the fear that one’s desires will not be fulfilled in the future, the wise Epicurean attains tranquility, and thus happiness. In 1837 the Danish Royal Society of Sciences propounded, as subject for a prize competition, the question with which this treatise opens; and Schopenhauer, who was glad to seize the opportunity of becoming better known, prepared, and sent to Copenhagen, the earliest form of "The Basis of Morality." In fact, he argues that it does not matter if you do not find pleasure in life right all the time because, “no age is too early or too late for the health of the soul.”, Furthermore, he argues that if you live by his definition of a good life, then death should not matter, and you should not worry about it. According to Epicureanism, pursuing the fulfillment of these desires should be avoided, because as we fulfill them they continue to grow and soon our desire for luxury can become untenable. In his essays, Letter to Menoeceus and Principal Doctrines, Epicurus writes that happiness and pleasure are key to living a good life. Although all pleasures are good and all pains evil, Epicurus says that not all pleasures are choiceworthy or all pains to be avoided. Utilitarians claim that actions have value and thus are morally good insofar as they produce happiness (good consequences) for the greatest number of people. Thomas Jefferson to William Short, October 31, 1819. Epicurus regarded gut feelings as the ultimate authority on matters of morality and held that whether a person feels an action is right or wrong is a far more cogent guide to whether that act really is right or wrong than abstracts maxims, strict codified rules of ethics, or even reason itself. In modern versions of the identity theory, the mind is identified with the brain, and mental processes are identified with neural processes. Therefore, pleasure from natural desires are the foundation for Epicurus’s moral theory on virtue and happiness. 3. Epicurus says that all of the virtues are ultimately forms of prudence, of calculating what is in one’s own best interest. There is static pleasure and moving pleasure (Fish 48). b. act only on maxims that we can will to become universal laws. Moderation in all things 7. The mind must be a body, thinks Epicurus, because of its ability to interact with the body. These include virtue and the virtues, happiness (eudaimonia), and the soul. ‘Moving’ pleasures occur when one is in the process of satisfying a desire, e.g., eating a hamburger when one is hungry. It has been held by some that man naturally seeks pleasure and avoids pain. The Epicurean wise man recognizes the usefulness of the laws, and since he does not desire great wealth, luxury goods, political power, or the like, he sees that he has no reason to engage in the conduct prohibited by the laws in any case. Thus, a prohibition of murder would be just, but antimiscegenation laws would not. 24 Donagan, , The Theory of Morality, p. 1. Similar considerations apply for properties like “being healthy,” “being deadly,” and “being enslaved.” They are real, but can only apply to groups of atoms (like people), not individual atoms. According to Epicurus, pleasure is an inherent good in our nature, and we are destined to seek pleasure. Epicurus, however, following Empedocles, tries to explain away this apparent purposiveness in nature in a proto-Darwinian way, as the result of a process of natural selection. Is commonly regarded as the basic criteria for what is the tool which! 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