Ethical landscapes in Epicureanism


Markus Figueira da Silva (Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte-UFRN) [

Antonio Júlio Garcia Freire (Universidade do Estado do Rio Grande do Norte-UERN) []


The ethical principles of Epicureanism were based on the pursuit of the individual good and on a wisdom that represented the fullness of a personal fulfillment: this could only be achieved by a state of inner serenity - ataraxia - independent of circumstances to the individual. Epicurean ethics has a strictly existential dimension, since for the sage to attain happiness, a simple and frugal life would suffice, as well as following a series of four basic propositions (tetrapharmakon): the wise man should not fear the gods; death means nothing; the good is easy to get and the pain can be easily supported. The path leading to ataraxia begins with the knowledge of nature (physis) through an experience-based gnosiology. Initiated by Epicurus of Samos, the epicurean doctrine flourished in the Hellenistic period. After the death of the founder of the Garden, it was popularized in Rome by Lucretius (1st century BC) and other disciples such as Philodemus of Gadara and Diogenes of Oenoanda (2nd century AD). The goal of this panel is to explore the strict dimension of Epicurean ethics in the Hellenistic period. We are also considering cross-cutting approaches that go beyond the strictly philosophical dimension, such as the relations between ethics and politics, rhetoric, religion, literature, and gender studies. In this case, it is particularly important that participants can bring communications related to ancient Greek and Roman Epicureanism, but contributions on the reception of Epicurean ethical thought in other periods will be welcome. Finally, we are encouraging the participation of junior researchers and established scholars.

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