Cynics vs Epicureans

Cynics and epicureans are philosophical movements that existed in the 4th and 5th centuries BC.

The founder of cynic philosophy was the disciple of Socrates Antisthenes. His philosophy was based on the belief that everyone was to live in harmony with nature. According to that point of view, cynics believed that all the heritage of civilization must be perceived as something that contradicts nature. Consequently happiness was interpreted in terms of retwin to nature. Some followers were the youth, who had been surrounded from the cradle by luxury, but who couldn’t satisfy their own spiritual demands. They considered that the philosophy of cynics could make them free. In time teachings of cynics turned into the real cynicism, where death of friends and relatives was perceived as something meaningless and unimportant.

The roots of Epicureanism come from teachings of the Greek philosopher Epicurus, whose childhood had been spent in atmosphere of constant fear. Dread of dark forces and death had been tormenting him for all his life. So Epicurus decided to free himself from those tortures and he grounded school, which aim was to conquer fear. Being professed infidel, he considered that real joy consisted in enclosure from this cruel world and in escape into the wonderful solitary garden, where everyone could take delight by means of satisfaction with food, hearing music and discussions, visuognosis and by means of sexual pleasures. The followers of Epicureanism were urged to spend life to please themselves without paying attention to others.

To conclude, it is of use to mention that cynics bring themselves up in the regressive direction, abandoning the majority of social opinions and trying to become free from cultural requirements. An Epicurean uses his higher level of culture to make himself independent from prevailing opinions, he surpasses them; when a cynic confines himself only to denial of the same things.

Reference

Hegel, G. W. F. (1995). Lectures on the History of Philosophy: Greek Philosophy to Plato (Volume: 1). Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska …
Posted by: Alysha Creasy

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