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Honors Program
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HONR 1101

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Emily McClure Epicurus After reading a good amount of Epicurus, it is easy to see that he was a quite distinct person and philosopher. However, I found that he is also similar in various ways to Socrates. To begin, Epicurus’way of explaining his philosophies is often built upon deductive reasoning, and (if I’m recalling correctly) Socrates approaches his philosophy and discussions in the same manner. They begin with a bigger theme and move from there, eliminating unreasonable explanations and pointing out their respective conclusions as they go. An additional similarity is that neither Epicurus nor Socrates relied or focused much on the belief in a divine, controlling deity. The two philosophers differ when it comes to the natural sciences, which Socrates does not focus on. Epicurus is a scientist as well as a philosopher (although, in retrospect, I think that the two can be interpreted as the same considering they are both names for people who are testing and hypothesizing about the truths of life).Anyhow, he is a scientist in the way that he attempts to clarify and answer any questions about the causes of natural phenomenon; basically, he studies natural science. I think that his science is generally rational and actually pretty accurate considering the tools that they had (and did not have) during his time for experimenting and researching such things.Although Epicurus can not always determine the exact cause or the exact answer to many of his questions, he succeeds in laying out multiple reasonable hypotheses – of which oftentimes contain the correct answer that we have since confirmed/discovered. For example, in Letter to Herodotus, he quite accurately describes the properties of atoms as are accepted in today’s science: “Hence it is necessary that these transposed atoms be indestructible and not have the nature of changing phenomena, but have particles and structures peculiar to themselves; for at least this much must remain immutable” (Epicurus 99). This conclusion about the indestructibility of atoms is impressively on-target. Next, Epicurus explains the outlines for an Epicurean good life. His idea of a good life is drastically different than the idea of a good lif
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