Philosophy Of The Past And A Good Time In The Present

2004 words - 8 pages

Well, before I can start with the arguments of Hallowell and Porter, I have to summarize the reading so that it is understood what I summarized in my mind from the reading. I remember a couple different forms of thought being presented, the first of which was Epicureanism and the other was Stoicism. These were the two forms presented in reading that we are to write about.

For all intensive purposes, to give a description of the two thoughts, Epicureanism was basically living with the absence of fear and lust, and accepting your role in life, by realizing that your life was predetermined and out of your control. The quicker a person could accept his role the happier and easier his life would be.

As for Stoicism, there were multiple forms and transformations of Stoicism that were discussed in the reading, but the most basic ideal is that man must not concern himself long life, food, wealth, and power, but with the one thing that he can control, his emotions. Control of emotions and suppressing emotions lead to the transition from point to point more smoothly because God controls what happens in life, we control how we handle what happens emotionally.

So, now that I have given a brief description of what the chapter was basically discussing, I will now discuss the author's views and arguments. It starts off with Epicureanism which was founded by Epicurus who was born an Athenian and opened a school in Athens which was secluded so that he and his followers could live away from the turmoil of the world around them. This is where it kind of begins to sound like what we would call a cult. He became a sort of divinity, almost like a god to his followers.

Hallowell and Porter discussed the teachings of Epicurus which stated that, "one should concentrate on the absence of pleasure or, more precisely, the absence of pain." Epicurus taught that pleasure was the beginning and the end of living happily, and also, that intellectual pleasures are to be preferred over physical pleasures. It was discussed what are to be considered natural necessary pleasures, and unnatural pleasures that were unnecessary. It was distinguished that food and sleep were natural and necessary to live with, however something like sex was natural, but not needed in your everyday life.

I guess I can kind of agree with this philosophy and understand where Epicurus was coming from with it. I take it to mean that people should not consume their time with material things and trinkets that are not necessary to live. These things are unnatural immaterial parts of our lives, instead we should focus on surviving, feeding our bodies as well as our minds. We need knowledge to be able to understand and...

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