By Tim O'Keefe
The Epicurean tuition of philosophy used to be one of many dominant philosophies of the Hellenistic interval. based by way of Epicurus of Samos (century 341-270 BCE) it used to be characterised via an empiricist epistemology and a hedonistic ethics. This new advent to Epicurus bargains readers transparent exposition of the crucial tenets of Epicurus' philosophy, with specific pressure put on these good points that experience enduring philosophical curiosity and the place parallels could be drawn with debates in modern analytic philosophy. half 1 of the ebook examines the basics of Epicurus' metaphysics, together with atoms and the void, emergent and brilliant houses, cosmology, mechanistic biology, the character and functioning of the brain, demise, and freedom of motion. half 2 explores Epicurus' epistemology, together with his arguments opposed to scepticism and his rules on sensations, preconceptions and emotions. the ultimate half bargains with Epicurus' ethics, exploring his arguments for hedonism, his certain conceptions of varieties of enjoyment and hope, his trust in advantage, his notions of justice, friendship and his theology. O'Keefe offers prolonged exegesis of the arguments assisting Epicurus' positions, indicating their strengths and weaknesses, whereas displaying the connections among a few of the components of his philosophy and the way Epicureanism hangs jointly as an entire.
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Extra info for Epicureanism (Ancient Philosophies)
This theory also allows the Epicureans to declare a universal speed limit. Assuming that bodies cannot “skip” spatial minima when moving, then the fastest speed would be going from A to B in a number of temporal “atoms” equal to the number of spatial minima from A to B, that is, making the trip entirely unimpeded. The doctrine of spatial minima also raises interesting problems for geometry. For instance, the Pythagoreans had already demon23 epicureanism strated that certain magnitudes, such as the length of a side of a square and of its diagonal, are incommensurable.
But this is not because of any mysterious affinity of like for like. Instead, the particles of earth, as the heaviest element, settled towards the middle of the cosmos, squeezing out the lighter elements. So eventually we get layers of earth, then water, then air, then ether. The sun and moon are spherical bodies midway between earth and ether in their density, and they thus float in the air. 1–4, IG I-92). All atoms naturally fall “downwards” at uniform speed, as we have seen (Chapter 3), so “heavier” and “lighter” here do not mean differences in natural rate of fall; instead, “heavier” elements, owing to their size and shape, are better suited to push their way down through “lighter” elements.
But they will have no perceptible subparts, because any spatial sub-parts would be below our threshold to see them. Such perceptible minima are not literally spatial minima; dust motes are both physically and theoretically divisible. But perceptible minima allow us to conceive of what theoretical spatial minima are like, as extended yet partless, and to answer the objection. Epicureans draw a number of startling conclusions from this theory (Simpl. in Phys. 2 Besides space, both motion and time will have minima.
Epicureanism (Ancient Philosophies) by Tim O'Keefe