Epicureanism | Free Online Biblical Library

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Popularly this is taken as equivalent to hedonism. More strictly, however, Epicureanism regarded some pleasures as unnatural, and some unnecessary, emphasizing the need for practical wisdom to secure pleasure. This ethical emphasis was part of an antiskeptical philosophy in which knowledge was derived from sense-experience which gave rise to skepticism-defeating “anticipations.” Epicureans advocated the avoidance of political and public responsibilities, and the cultivation of friendship. Epicureanism was revived by Gassendi and became popular with the English Deists and French encyclopedists. Paul encountered Epicureans at Mars Hill (Acts 17). The teaching of Epicurus (341-270 b.c.) can be found summarized in Diogenes Laertius's Life of Epicurus (Book X of the Lives).