Epicurian Views on Truth
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The paper analyzes the Hellenistic era views of the Epicureans, Stoics, and Sceptics, who debated over the idea of truth and knowledge. More specifically, the paper clarifies, they argued over whether it was possible to attain knowledge and, if so, how and by what parameters was knowledge to be judged. The paper notes that, despite different approaches, the Epicureans and Stoics believed in the possibility of knowledge while the Sceptics deemed it impossible to decide if anything was indeed true or false - thus leading to their conclusion that nothing can be classified as knowledge and therefore we should suspend judgment on any issue. The paper concludes that Epicurus, however, did not follow this doctrine and came up with a philosophy that proved the existence of knowledge, and explained the definitions and parameters of knowledge.
From the Paper:"Using the somewhat anachronistic, photo analogy of Taylor we can conceive the predicament quite clearly. Using the image of a photo as evidence of what was actually there is only conceivable because we are able to understand the process of how the camera works. Therefore, we can only use the sense-impressions as viable evidence if we understand the process that brings them about. It is the physical theory of Epicurus that attempts to describe this process. If one were to reject this thesis, then the evidence of sense-impressions has nothing to stand up against. There would be no reason to accept them as truth and far less reason to support them as a possible criterion for truth. The plausibility of Epicurus' arguments on epistemology hinges on the strength of his physical theory of eidola and the entire atomistic world he believed in. To reject this physical theory will be to reject all of the Epicurean thought on knowledge and the criteria for accessing knowledge."
Sample of Sources Used:
- Asmis. E. 1984. Epicurus' Scientific Method. London: Cornell University Press.
- Asmis. E. 'Epicurean Epistemology' in 1999. The Cambridge History of Hellenistic Philosophy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- Burnyeat. M.F. The Upside-Down Back-to-Front Sceptic of Lucretius IV 472. Philologus 122 (1978), pp. 197-206.
- Everson. S. 'Epicurus on the truth of the senses' in S. Everson (ed.). 1990. Companions to Ancient Thought 1: Epistemology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 161-183.
- Long. A.A. & Sedley. D.N. 1987. The Hellenistic Philosophers. Volume 1. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Cite this Analytical Essay:
Epicurian Views on Truth (2011, January 14) Retrieved April 06, 2020, from https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/epicurian-views-on-truth-146728/
"Epicurian Views on Truth" 14 January 2011. Web. 06 April. 2020. <https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/epicurian-views-on-truth-146728/>