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A map through a few days in Athens and the world of Epicurus
One day in school at the Porch you hear Timocrates denounce Epicurus as a debauched man and enemy of virtue and the gods and you go walking and happen upon a stranger
Socrates influenced Cynics
Cynics influened Zeno especially hs "Republic"
A Map Through
A Few Days In Athens
World of Epicurus
The Stoic School, also called the Portico, the Porch, founded and led by Zeno of Citium. You belong to this school when the book opens.
Nature of Truth: The gods created the universe and Fate controls the destiny of men
Access to Truth: Truth is found through dialectical reasoning
Guide to Life: "Virtue" is the goal of life and one must always fix one's eyes on it, as it exists like the summit of a mountaintop, always out of reach but always there as the goal and standard. Changed Cynic view of following Nature to focus on following Nature through reason.
Epicurus' Perspective: The Stoics are the ultimate example of the folly of believing that "virtue" is anything but an empty name.
Timocrates, brother of Metrodorus, and
former follower of Epicurus, who has
converted to Stoicism
Cleanthes, the friend you have just met
in the Stoic School; honorable but hostile to Epicurus; becomes
head of Stoic School after Zeno dies
Chryssipus, becomes head of school after Cleanthes
Epicurus, the Gargettian, the Son of Neocles, founder of the the school referred to as "The Garden"
Metrodorus, first assistant to Epicurus
Hermarchus, second assistant to Epicurus
Leontium, female associate of Epicurus, disparaged
as a prostitute but a philosopher herself.
Hedea, referred to as an adopted daughter
Polyaenus, former mathematician, now realizes
that study of happiness is the most important science
Sofron, student of Epicurus
Colotes, student of Epicurus, in real life writes "That It Is Impossible Even To Live According To The Doctrines Of The Other Philosophers" dedicated to King Ptolemy Philopater. Falls on knees before Epicurus (an episode recorded by Plutarch).
Nature of Truth: This world is the only reality. There are no other realities or other dimensions. The universe has always existed, is infinite in size, and the elements that compose the universe are eternal but constantly in motion.
Access to Truth: Truth is accessible through the "Canon of Truth," which is a reference to the tools of sensing and measuring truth, which are (1) the five senses, (2) the anticipations, and (3) the sense of pain and pleasure.
Guide To Life: Nature's guide to life is pleasure and pain ("the passions") which are properly employed by exercising them reasonably through constant reference to reality (Authorized Doctrines 22-25. "Virtue" is a valid concept only as a means of describing the process of living pleasantly - in every other sense the word is a sham. Sees himself and other wise men, not as "teachers", but as guides for path of life
You: Theon, honest young student of philosophy,
are sent by your father in Corinth to study Philosophy in Athens.
The Academy, The School Founded
by Plato, a student of Socrates. The degree
to which Plato's views reflect those of
Socrates, or are his own, is disputed.
Nature of Truth: Holds that the only true reality is that of ideal forms which exist in another dimension and are inaccessible to the senses. Plato originated the "parable of the cave" the we are like slaves chained to a wall for which reality is visible only as a reflection.
Access to Truth: Truth is accessible only through "reason." Because of this Plato is associated with"dialectic reasoning" i.e. - word game arguments that lull participants into thinking that sentence structures and propositions constitute truth, just as they consider mathematics to be true reality rather than a description of reality.
Guide to Life: "Virtue" is the guide to life. Virtue is set by gods and/or "reasoning."
Epicurus' Perspective: Epicurus refers to Platonists as "dreamers" and "the golden," as Plato held men of "gold" should be philosopher - kings - dictators, and also as "Flatterers of Dionysius" - an allusion to their delusions of grandeur.
Nature of Truth: Highly mystical; believed truth found in geometric forms, and souls experience reincarnation ("metempsychosis")
Access to Truth:
Guide to Life: Follow the teacher absolutely; students may
not even speak
School of Diogenes, the Cynic, "the Tub"
Nature of Truth:
Access To Truth:
Guide To Life: Virtue is the only good: Cynics saw following Nature to be a type
of gross Asceticism; doglike manners; and would dissolve the ties
of family and political society.
Epicurus' Perspective: Epicurus accuses Cynics
of a reverse kind of pride, vanity, and ambition
Gryphus, who appears in story
to tell Epicurus to stop teaching
Eleatic School (Parmenides)
Quibbles: All is One - motion is impossible
The Lyceum, the School of Aristotle, the Peripatetics
Nature of Truth: Holds that reality exists in *this* dimension (not another world like Plato).
Access to Truth: Holds that truth is accessible only through "reasoning" in word games ("syllogisms). If a matter cannot be stated in the form of a syllogism, involving affirmations or denials, then it cannot be true.
Guide to Life: "Virtue" is the guide to life. Virtue is set by "reasoning" back to the first cause which is divine.
Epicurus' perspective: Epicurus reportedly called Aristotle a "piker" and "profligate" who "after devouring his patrimony took to soldiering and selling drugs." (This is not in AFDIA and he may not have said it.)
Theophrastus (criticized as arrogant)
Pyrrho, the Skeptic
Nature of Truth:
Access To Truth: Impossible to know anything with certainty
Guide to Life:
Epicurus' Pespective: The Skeptics are wrong because certain knowledge of some things is possible, based on the eternal and unchanging nature of the elements. These views are explained in the Letter to Herodotus, Authorized Doctrines 22-25, and Lucretius.