Epicurus and Democritean Ethics: An Archaeology of Ataraxia

Cambridge University Press (2002)
Abstract
The Epicurean philosophical system has enjoyed much recent scrutiny, but the question of its philosophical ancestry remains largely neglected. It has often been thought that Epicurus owed only his physical theory of atomism to the fifth-century BC philosopher Democritus, but this study finds that there is much in his ethical thought which can be traced to Democritus. It also finds important influences on Epicurus in Democritus' fourth-century followers such as Anaxarchus and Pyrrho, and in Epicurus' disagreements with his own Democritean teacher Nausiphanes. The result is not only a fascinating reconstruction of a lost tradition, but also an important contribution to the philosophical interpretation of Epicureanism, bearing especially on its ideal of tranquillity and on the relation of ethics to physics.
Keywords Ethics, Ancient
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Call number B573.J36 2002
ISBN(s) 9780521813693   0521034450   0521813697
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Richard Joyce & Simon Kirchin (2007). Introduction. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 10 (5):421-425.
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