The omnipotence paradox is a family of paradoxes that arise with some understandings of the term'omnipotent'. The paradox arises, for example, if one assumes that an omnipotent being has no limits and is capable of realizing any outcome logically contradictory ideas such as creating square circles. A no-limits understanding of omnipotence such as this has been rejected by theologians from Thomas Aquinas to contemporary philosophers of religion, such as Alvin Plantinga. Atheological arguments based on the omnipotence paradox are sometimes described as evidence for atheism, though Christian theologians and philosophers, such as Norman Geisler and William Lane Craig, contend that a no-limits understanding of omnipotence is not relevant to orthodox Christian theology. Other possible resolutions to the paradox hinge on the definition of omnipotence applied and the nature of God regarding this application and whether or not omnipotence is directed toward God himself or outward toward his external surroundings.
The omnipotence paradox has medieval origins, dating at least to the 12th century. It was addressed by Averroës and by Thomas Aquinas. Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite has a predecessor version of the paradox, asking whether it is possible for God to "deny himself"; the most well-known version of the omnipotence paradox is the so-called paradox of the stone: "Could God create a stone so heavy that He could not lift it?" This phrasing of the omnipotence paradox is vulnerable to objections based on the physical nature of gravity, such as how the weight of an object depends on what the local gravitational field is. Alternative statements of the paradox that do not involve such difficulties include "If given the axioms of Euclidean geometry, can an omnipotent being create a triangle whose angles do not add up to 180 degrees?" and "Can God create a prison so secure that he cannot escape from it?". A common modern version of the omnipotence paradox is expressed in the question: "Can create a stone so heavy that it cannot lift it?"
This question generates a dilemma. The being can either create a stone it can not lift. If the being can create a stone that it cannot lift it is not omnipotent because there is a weight threshold beyond it's own power to lift. If the being cannot create a stone it cannot lift there is something it cannot create, is therefore not omnipotent. In either case, God is not omnipotent. A related issue is whether the concept of'logically possible' is different for a world in which omnipotence exists than a world in which omnipotence does not exist; the dilemma of omnipotence is similar to another classic paradox—the irresistible force paradox: What would happen if an irresistible force were to meet an immovable object? One response to this paradox is to disallow its formulation, by saying that if a force is irresistible by definition there is no immovable object; some claim that the only way out of this paradox is if the irresistible force and immovable object never meet. But this is not a way out, because an object cannot in principle be immovable if a force exists that can in principle move it, regardless of whether the force and the object meet.
Peter Geach rejects four levels of omnipotence. He defines and defends a lesser notion of the "almightiness" of God. "Y is omnipotent" means that "Y" can do anything that can be expressed in a string of words if it is self-contradictory: "Y" is not bound by the laws of logic." "Y is omnipotent" means "Y can do X" is true if and only if X is a logically consistent description of a state of affairs. This position was once advocated by Thomas Aquinas; this definition of omnipotence solves some of the paradoxes associated with omnipotence, but some modern formulations of the paradox still work against this definition. Let X = "to make something that its maker cannot lift." As Mavrodes points out there is nothing logically contradictory about this. A man could, for example, make a boat. "Y is omnipotent" means "Y can do X" is true if and only if "Y does X" is logically consistent. Here the idea is to exclude actions that are inconsistent for Y to do but might be consistent for others. Again sometimes it looks.
Here Mavrodes' worry about X= "to make something its maker cannot lift" is no longer a problem, because "God does X" is not logically consistent. However, this account may still have problems with moral issues like X = "tells a lie" or temporal issues like X = "brings it about that Rome was never founded." "Y is omnipotent" means whenever "Y will bring about X" is logically possible "Y can bring about X" is true. This sense does not allow the paradox of omnipotence to arise, unlike definition #3 avoids any temporal worries about whether or not an omnipotent being could change the past. However, Geach criticizes this sense of omnipotence as misunderstanding the nature of God's promises. "Y is almighty" means that Y is not just more powerful than any creature. In this account nothing like the omnipotence paradox arises, but, because God is not taken to be in any sense omnipotent. On the other hand, Anselm of Canterbury seems to think that almightiness is one of the things that make God count as omnipotent.
Augustine of Hippo in his City of God writes "God is called omnipotent on account of His doing what He wills" and thus proposes the definition that "Y is omnipotent" means "If Y wishes to do X Y can and does do X". The notion of omnipotence can be applied to an entity in different ways. An omnipotent
The dream argument is the postulation that the act of dreaming provides preliminary evidence that the senses we trust to distinguish reality from illusion should not be trusted, therefore, any state, dependent on our senses should at the least be examined and rigorously tested to determine whether it is in fact reality. While one dreams, one does not realize one is dreaming; this has led philosophers to wonder whether it is possible for one to be certain, at any given point in time, that one is not in fact dreaming, or whether indeed it could be possible for one to remain in a perpetual dream state and never experience the reality of wakefulness at all. In the West, this philosophical puzzle was referred to by Aristotle. Having received serious attention in René Descartes' Meditations on First Philosophy, the dream argument has become one of the most prominent skeptical hypotheses; this type of argument is sometimes referred to as the "Zhuangzi paradox": He who dreams of drinking wine may weep when morning comes.
While he is dreaming he does not know it is a dream, in his dream he may try to interpret a dream. Only after he wakes does, and someday there will be a great awakening. Yet the stupid believe they are awake and brightly assuming they understand things, calling this man ruler, that one herdsman—how dense! Confucius and you are both dreaming! And when I say you are dreaming, I am dreaming, too. Words like these will be labeled the Supreme Swindle. Yet, after ten thousand generations, a great sage may appear who will know their meaning, it will still be as though he appeared with astonishing speed. One of the first philosophers to posit the dream argument formally was the Yogachara philosopher Vasubandhu in his "Twenty verses on appearance only." The dream argument came to feature prominently in Tibetan Buddhist philosophy. Some schools of thought consider perceived reality to be unreal; as Chögyal Namkhai Norbu puts it: "In a real sense, all the visions that we see in our lifetime are like a big dream...."
In this context, the term'visions' denotes not only visual perceptions, but appearances perceived through all senses, including sounds, smells and tactile sensations, operations on perceived mental objects. A paradox concerning dreams and the nature of reality was described by the British writer Eric Bond Hutton in 1989; as a child Hutton had lucid dreams, in which everything seemed as real as in waking life. This led him to wonder whether life itself was a dream whether he existed only in somebody else's dream. Sometimes he had pre-lucid dreams, in which more than not he concluded he was awake; such dreams disturbed him but one day he came up with a magic formula for use in them: "If I find myself asking'Am I dreaming?' it proves I am, for the question would never occur to me in waking life." Yet, such is the nature of dreams, he could never recall it. Many years when he wrote a piece about solipsism and his childhood interest in dreams, he was struck by a contradiction in his earlier reasoning.
True, asking oneself "Am I dreaming?" in a dream would seem to prove one is. Yet, what he had asked himself in waking life. Therein lay a paradox. What was he to conclude? That it does not prove one is dreaming? Or that life is a dream? Dreaming provides a springboard for those; the ability of the mind to be tricked into believing a mentally generated world is the "real world" means at least one variety of simulated reality is a common nightly event. Those who argue that the world is not simulated must concede that the mind—at least the sleeping mind—is not itself an reliable mechanism for attempting to differentiate reality from illusion. In the past, philosophers John Locke and Thomas Hobbes have separately attempted to refute Descartes's account of the dream argument. Locke claimed. Various scientific studies conducted within the last few decades provided evidence against Locke's claim by concluding that pain in dreams can occur but the pain isn't as severe. Philosopher Ben Springett has said that Locke might respond to this by stating that the agonising pain of stepping in to a fire is non-comparable to stepping in to a fire in a dream.
Hobbes claimed. Many contemporary philosophers have attempted to refute dream skepticism in detail. Ernest Sosa devoted a chapter of a monograph to the topic, in which he presented a new theory of dreaming and argued that his theory raises a new argument for skepticism, which he attempted to refute. In A Virtue Epistemology: Apt Belief and Reflective Knowledge, he states: "in dreaming we do not believe. Jonathan Ichikawa and Nathan Ballantyne & Ian Evans have offered critiques of Sosa's proposed solution. Ichikawa argued that as we cannot tell whether our beliefs in waking life are beliefs and not imaginings, like in a dream, we are still not able to tell whether we are awake or dreaming. Norman Malcolm in his monograph "Dreaming" elaborated on Wittgenstein's question as to whether it mattered if people who tell dreams "really had these images while they slept, or whether it seems so to them on waking", he argues.
A paradox is a statement that, despite valid reasoning from true premises, leads to an apparently-self-contradictory or logically unacceptable conclusion. A paradox involves contradictory-yet-interrelated elements that exist and persist over time; some logical paradoxes are known to be invalid arguments but are still valuable in promoting critical thinking. Some paradoxes have revealed errors in definitions assumed to be rigorous, have caused axioms of mathematics and logic to be re-examined. One example is Russell's paradox, which questions whether a "list of all lists that do not contain themselves" would include itself, showed that attempts to found set theory on the identification of sets with properties or predicates were flawed. Others, such as Curry's paradox, are not yet resolved. Examples outside logic include the ship of Theseus from philosophy. Paradoxes can take the form of images or other media. For example, M. C. Escher featured perspective-based paradoxes in many of his drawings, with walls that are regarded as floors from other points of view, staircases that appear to climb endlessly.
In common usage, the word "paradox" refers to statements that are ironic or unexpected, such as "the paradox that standing is more tiring than walking". Common themes in paradoxes include self-reference, infinite regress, circular definitions, confusion between different levels of abstraction. Patrick Hughes outlines three laws of the paradox: Self-reference An example is "This statement is false", a form of the liar paradox; the statement is referring to itself. Another example of self-reference is the question of whether the barber shaves himself in the barber paradox. One more example would be "Is the answer to this question'No'?" Contradiction "This statement is false". Another example of contradiction is if a man talking to a genie wishes that wishes couldn't come true; this contradicts itself because if the genie grants his wish, he did not grant his wish, if he refuses to grant his wish he did indeed grant his wish, therefore making it impossible either to grant or not grant his wish because his wish contradicts itself.
Vicious circularity, or infinite regress "This statement is false". Another example of vicious circularity is the following group of statements: "The following sentence is true." "The previous sentence is false."Other paradoxes involve false statements or half-truths and the resulting biased assumptions. This form is common in howlers. For example, consider a situation in which a father and his son are driving down the road; the car crashes into a tree and the father is killed. The boy is rushed to the nearest hospital. Upon entering the surgery-suite, the surgeon says, "I can't operate on this boy. He's my son." The apparent paradox is caused by a hasty generalization, for if the surgeon is the boy's father, the statement cannot be true. The paradox is resolved. Paradoxes which are not based on a hidden error occur at the fringes of context or language, require extending the context or language in order to lose their paradoxical quality. Paradoxes that arise from intelligible uses of language are of interest to logicians and philosophers.
"This sentence is false" is an example of the well-known liar paradox: it is a sentence which cannot be interpreted as either true or false, because if it is known to be false it is known that it must be true, if it is known to be true it is known that it must be false. Russell's paradox, which shows that the notion of the set of all those sets that do not contain themselves leads to a contradiction, was instrumental in the development of modern logic and set theory. Thought-experiments can yield interesting paradoxes; the grandfather paradox, for example, would arise if a time-traveler were to kill his own grandfather before his mother or father had been conceived, thereby preventing his own birth. This is a specific example of the more general observation of the butterfly effect, or that a time-traveller's interaction with the past—however slight—would entail making changes that would, in turn, change the future in which the time-travel was yet to occur, would thus change the circumstances of the time-travel itself.
A paradoxical conclusion arises from an inconsistent or inherently contradictory definition of the initial premise. In the case of that apparent paradox of a time-traveler killing his own grandfather, it is the inconsistency of defining the past to which he returns as being somehow different from the one which leads up to the future from which he begins his trip, but insisting that he must have come to that past from the same future as the one that it leads up to. W. V. Quine distinguished between three classes of paradoxes: A veridical paradox produces a result that appears absurd but is demonstrated to be true nonetheless, thus the paradox of Frederic's birthday in The Pirates of Penzance establishes the surprising fact that a twenty-one-year-old would have had only five birthdays if he had been born on a leap day. Arrow's impossibility theorem demonstrates difficulties in mapping voting results to the will of the people; the Monty Hall paradox demonstrates that a decision which has an intuitive 50–50 chance is in fact biased towards making a decision which, given the intuitive concl
Sir Karl Raimund Popper was an Austrian-British philosopher and professor. Regarded as one of the 20th century's greatest philosophers of science, Popper is known for his rejection of the classical inductivist views on the scientific method in favour of empirical falsification. A theory in the empirical sciences can never be proven, but it can be falsified, meaning that it can and should be scrutinised by decisive experiments. Popper is known for his opposition to the classical justificationist account of knowledge, which he replaced with critical rationalism, namely "the first non-justificational philosophy of criticism in the history of philosophy". In political discourse, he is known for his vigorous defence of liberal democracy and the principles of social criticism that he came to believe made a flourishing open society possible, his political philosophy embraces ideas from all major democratic political ideologies and attempts to reconcile them, namely socialism/social democracy, libertarianism/classical liberalism and conservatism.
Karl Popper was born in Vienna in 1902 to upper-middle-class parents. All of Popper's grandparents were Jewish, but they were not devout and as part of the cultural assimilation process the Popper family converted to Lutheranism before he was born and so he received a Lutheran baptism, his father Simon Siegmund Carl Popper was a lawyer from Bohemia and a doctor of law at the Vienna University while his mother Jenny Schiff was of Silesian and Hungarian descent. Popper's uncle was the Austrian philosopher Josef Popper-Lynkeus. After establishing themselves in Vienna, the Poppers made a rapid social climb in Viennese society as Popper's father became a partner in the law firm of Vienna's liberal mayor Raimund Grübl and after Grübl's death in 1898 took over the business. Popper received his middle name after Raimund Grübl.. His father was a bibliophile who had 12,000–14,000 volumes in his personal library and took an interest in philosophy, the classics, social and political issues. Popper inherited both the disposition from him.
He would describe the atmosphere of his upbringing as having been "decidedly bookish."Popper left school at the age of 16 and attended lectures in mathematics, philosophy and the history of music as a guest student at the University of Vienna. In 1919, Popper became attracted by Marxism and subsequently joined the Association of Socialist School Students, he became a member of the Social Democratic Workers' Party of Austria, at that time a party that adopted the Marxist ideology. After the street battle in the Hörlgasse on 15 June 1919, when police shot eight of his unarmed party comrades, he became disillusioned by what he saw as the "pseudo-scientific" historical materialism of Marx, abandoned the ideology, remained a supporter of social liberalism throughout his life, he worked in street construction for a short amount of time, but was unable to cope with the heavy labour. Continuing to attend university as a guest student, he started an apprenticeship as a cabinetmaker, which he completed as a journeyman.
He was dreaming at that time of starting a daycare facility for children, for which he assumed the ability to make furniture might be useful. After that he did voluntary service in one of psychoanalyst Alfred Adler's clinics for children. In 1922, he did his matura by way of a second chance education and joined the University as an ordinary student, he completed his examination as an elementary teacher in 1924 and started working at an after-school care club for endangered children. In 1925, he went to the newly founded Pädagogisches Institut and continued studying philosophy and psychology. Around that time he started courting Josefine Anna Henninger, who became his wife. In 1928, he earned a doctorate under the supervision of Karl Bühler, his dissertation was titled Zur Methodenfrage der Denkpsychologie. In 1929, he obtained the authorisation to teach mathematics and physics in secondary school, which he started doing, he married his colleague Josefine Anna Henninger in 1930. Fearing the rise of Nazism and the threat of the Anschluss, he started to use the evenings and the nights to write his first book Die beiden Grundprobleme der Erkenntnistheorie.
He needed to publish one to get some academic position in a country, safe for people of Jewish descent. However, he ended up not publishing the two-volume work, but a condensed version of it with some new material, Logik der Forschung, in 1934. Here, he criticised psychologism, naturalism and logical positivism, put forth his theory of potential falsifiability as the criterion demarcating science from non-science. In 1935 and 1936, he took unpaid leave to go to the United Kingdom for a study visit. In 1937, Popper managed to get a position that allowed him to emigrate to New Zealand, where he became lecturer in philosophy at Canterbury University College of the University of New Zealand in Christchurch, it was here that he wrote his influential work Its Enemies. In Dunedin he met the Professor of Physiology John Carew Eccles and formed a lifelong friendship with him. In 1946, after the Second World War, he moved to the United Kingdom to become reader in logic and scientific method at the London School of Economics.
Three years in 1949, he was appointed professor of logic and scientific method at the University of London. Popper was president of the Aristotelian Society from 1958 to 1959. H
University of Chicago Press
The University of Chicago Press is the largest and one of the oldest university presses in the United States. It is operated by the University of Chicago and publishes a wide variety of academic titles, including The Chicago Manual of Style, numerous academic journals, advanced monographs in the academic fields. One of its quasi-independent projects is a digital repository for scholarly books; the Press building is located just south of the Midway Plaisance on the University of Chicago campus. The University of Chicago Press was founded in 1891, making it one of the oldest continuously operating university presses in the United States, its first published book was Robert F. Harper's Assyrian and Babylonian Letters Belonging to the Kouyunjik Collections of the British Museum; the book sold five copies during its first two years, but by 1900 the University of Chicago Press had published 127 books and pamphlets and 11 scholarly journals, including the current Journal of Political Economy, Journal of Near Eastern Studies, American Journal of Sociology.
For its first three years, the Press was an entity discrete from the university. Heath in conjunction with the Chicago printer R. R. Donnelley; this arrangement proved unworkable, in 1894 the university assumed responsibility for the Press. In 1902, as part of the university, the Press started working on the Decennial Publications. Composed of articles and monographs by scholars and administrators on the state of the university and its faculty's research, the Decennial Publications was a radical reorganization of the Press; this allowed the Press, by 1905, to begin publishing books by scholars not of the University of Chicago. A manuscript editing and proofreading department was added to the existing staff of printers and typesetters, leading, in 1906, to the first edition of The Chicago Manual of Style. By 1931, the Press was an leading academic publisher. Leading books of that era include Dr. Edgar J. Goodspeed's The New Testament: An American Translation and its successor, Goodspeed and J. M. Povis Smith's The Complete Bible: An American Translation.
In 1956, the Press first published paperback-bound books under its imprint. Of the Press's best-known books, most date from the 1950s, including translations of the Complete Greek Tragedies and Richmond Lattimore's The Iliad of Homer; that decade saw the first edition of A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, which has since been used by students of Biblical Greek worldwide. In 1966, Morris Philipson began his thirty-four-year tenure as director of the University of Chicago Press, he committed time and resources to lengthening the backlist, becoming known for assuming ambitious scholarly projects, among the largest of, The Lisle Letters — a vast collection of 16th-century correspondence by Arthur Plantagenet, 1st Viscount Lisle, a wealth of information about every aspect of sixteenth-century life. As the Press's scholarly volume expanded, the Press advanced as a trade publisher. In 1992, Norman Maclean's books A River Runs Through It and Young Men and Fire were national best sellers, A River Runs Through It was made into a film directed by and starring Robert Redford.
In 1982, Philipson was the first director of an academic press to win the Publisher Citation, one of PEN's most prestigious awards. Shortly before he retired in June 2000, Philipson received the Association of American Publishers' Curtis Benjamin Award for Creative Publishing, awarded to the person whose "creativity and leadership have left a lasting mark on American publishing." Paula Barker Duffy served as director of the Press from 2000 to 2007. Under her administration, the Press expanded its distribution operations and created the Chicago Digital Distribution Center and BiblioVault. Editorial depth in reference and regional books increased with titles such as The Encyclopedia of Chicago, Timothy J. Gilfoyle's Millennium Park, new editions of The Chicago Manual of Style, the Turabian Manual, The University of Chicago Spanish Dictionary; the Press launched an electronic reference work, The Chicago Manual of Style Online. In 2014, the Press received The International Academic and Professional Publisher Award for excellence at the London Book Fair.
Garrett P. Kiely became the 15th director of the University of Chicago Press on September 1, 2007, he heads one of academic publishing's largest operations, employing more than 300 people across three divisions—books and distribution—and publishing 72 journal titles and 280 new books and 70 paperback reprints each year. The Press publishes across many subject areas, it publishes regional titles, such as The Encyclopedia of Chicago, edited by James R. Grossman, Ann Durkin Keating, Janice Reiff; the Press has expanded its digital offerings to include most newly published books as well as key backlist titles. In 2013, Chicago Journals began offering e-book editions of each new issue of each journal, for use on e-reader devices s
Taylor & Francis
Taylor & Francis Group is an international company originating in England that publishes books and academic journals. It is a division of a United Kingdom-based publisher and conference company; the company was founded in 1852 when William Francis joined Richard Taylor in his publishing business. Taylor founded his company in 1798, their subjects covered agriculture, education, geography, mathematics and social sciences. From 1917 to 1930 Francis' son, Richard Taunton Francis was sole partner in the firm. In 1965 Taylor & Francis began book publishing. In 1988 it acquired Hemisphere Publishing and the company was renamed Taylor & Francis Group to reflect the growing number of imprints. In 1990 Taylor & Francis exited from the printing business to concentrate on publishing. In 1998 Taylor & Francis Group went public on the London Stock Exchange and in the same year the group purchased its academic publishing rival Routledge for £90 million. Acquisitions of other publishers has remained a core part of the group's business strategy.
Taylor & Francis merged with Informa in 2004 to create a new company called T&F Informa, since renamed back to Informa. Following the merger, T&F closed the historic Routledge books office in New Fetter Lane and relocated to its current headquarters in Milton Park, Oxfordshire. Taylor & Francis Group is now the academic publishing arm of Informa and accounted for 30.2% of Group Revenue and 38.1% of Adjusted Profit in 2017. Taylor & Francis publishes more than 2,700 journals, 7,000 new books each year, with a backlist of over 140,000 titles available in print and digital formats, it uses the Routledge imprint for its publishing in humanities, social sciences, behavioural sciences and education and the CRC Press imprint for its publishing in science, technology and mathematics. In 2017, T&F sold assets from its Garland Science imprint to W. W. Norton & Company and ceased to use that brand. Although considered the smallest of the'Big Four' STEM publishers, its Routledge imprint is claimed to be the largest global academic publisher within humanities and social sciences.
The company's journals have been delivered through the Taylor & Francis Online website since June 2011. Prior to that they were provided through the Informaworld website. Taylor & Francis ebooks are now available via the TaylorFrancis website. Taylor & Francis operates a number of Web services for its digital content including Routledge Handbooks Online, the Routledge Performance Archive, Secret Intelligence Files and Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism. Taylor & Francis offers Open Access publishing options in both its books and journals divisions and through its Cogent Open Access journals imprint. Taylor & Francis is a member of several professional publishing bodies including the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association, the International Association of Scientific and Medical Publishers, the Association of Learned & Professional Society Publishers and The Publishers Association. In 2017, after collaborating for several years, T&F purchased specialist digital resources company Colwiz.
The group has 1,800 employees located in at least 18 offices worldwide. Its head office is based in Milton Park, Abingdon in the United Kingdom, with other offices in Stockholm, New York, Boca Raton, Kentucky, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Melbourne, Cape Town and New Delhi; the old Taylor and Francis logo depicts a hand pouring oil into a lit lamp, along with the Latin phrase "alere flammam" - to feed the flame. The modern logo is a stylised oil lamp in a circle. In 2013, the entire board of the Journal of Library Administration resigned in a dispute over author licensing agreements. In 2016 Critical Reviews in Toxicology was accused of being a "broker of junk science" by the Center for Public Integrity. Monsanto was found to have worked with an outside consulting firm to induce the journal to publish a biased review of the health effects of its product "Roundup". In 2017, Taylor & Francis was criticized for getting rid of the editor-in-chief of International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health, who accepted articles critical of corporate interests.
The company replaced the editor with a corporate consultant without consulting the editorial board. The journal Cogent Social Sciences accepted a hoax article, "The conceptual penis as a social construct", rejected by another Taylor & Francis journal, NORMA: International Journal for Masculinity Studies; when the authors announced the hoax, the article was retracted. In December 2018, the journal Dynamical Systems accepted the paper Saturation of Generalized Partially Hyperbolic Attractors only to have it retracted after publication due to the Iranian nationality of the authors; the European Mathematical Society condemned the retraction and announced that Taylor & Francis had agreed to reverse the decision. Previous instances of Taylor & Francis journals discriminating against Iranian authors were reported in 2013. Taylor & Francis academic journals Munroe, Mary H.. "Taylor & Francis". The Academic Publishing Industry: A Story of Merger and Acquisition. Northern Illinois University Libraries. Archived from the original on 2012-05-04.
Retrieved 2008-06-20. Brock, W. H. & Meadows, A. J.. The Lamp Of Learning: Taylor & Francis And Two Centuries Of Publishing. Taylor & Francis. Official website Taylor & Francis online journals and reference works Taylor & Francis eBooks Informa Divisions - Academic Publishing
Epicurus was an ancient Greek philosopher who founded a influential school of philosophy now called Epicureanism. He was born on the Greek island of Samos to Athenian parents. Influenced by Democritus and the Cynics, he turned against the Platonism of his day and established his own school, known as "the Garden", in Athens, he and his followers were known for eating simple meals and discussing a wide range of philosophical subjects, he allowed women to join the school as a matter of policy. An prolific writer, he is said to have written over 300 works on various subjects, but the vast majority of these writings have been lost. Only three letters written by him—the Letters to Menoeceus and Herodotus—and two collections of quotes—the Principle Doctrines and the Vatican Sayings—have survived intact, along with a few fragments and quotations of his other writings, his teachings are better recorded in the writings of authors, including the Roman poet Lucretius, the philosopher Philodemus, the philosopher Sextus Empiricus, the biographer Diogenes Laërtius.
For Epicurus, the purpose of philosophy was to attain the happy, tranquil life, characterized by ataraxia—peace and freedom from fear— and aponia—the absence of pain— and by living a self-sufficient life surrounded by friends. He taught that the root of all human neurosis is death denial, the tendency for human beings to assume that death will be horrific and painful, which he claimed causes unnecessary anxiety, selfish self-protective behaviors, hypocrisy. According to Epicurus, death is the end of both the body and the soul and therefore should not be feared. Epicurus taught that the gods, though they do exist, have no involvement in human affairs and do not punish or reward people for their actions. Nonetheless, he maintained that people should still behave ethically because amoral behavior will burden them with guilt and prevent them from attaining ataraxia. Like Aristotle, Epicurus was an empiricist, meaning he believed that the senses are the only reliable source of knowledge about the world.
He derived much of his cosmology from the earlier philosopher Democritus. Like Democritus, Epicurus taught that the universe is infinite and eternal and that all matter is made up of tiny, invisible particles known as atoms. All occurrences in the natural world are the result of atoms moving and interacting in empty space. Epicurus deviated from Democritus in his teaching of atomic "swerve", which holds that atoms may deviate from their expected course, thus permitting humans to possess free will in an otherwise deterministic universe. Though popular, Epicurean teachings were controversial from the beginning. Epicureanism reached the height of its popularity during the late years of the Roman Republic, before declining as the rival school of Stoicism grew in popularity at its expense, it died out in late antiquity in the wake of early Christianity. Epicurus himself was popularly, though inaccurately, remembered throughout the Middle Ages as a patron of drunkards and gluttons, his teachings became more known in the fifteenth century with the rediscovery of important texts, but his ideas did not become acceptable until the seventeenth century, when the French Catholic priest Pierre Gassendi revived a modified version of them, promoted by other writers, including Walter Charleton and Robert Boyle.
His influence grew during and after the Enlightenment, profoundly impacting the ideas of major thinkers, including John Locke, Thomas Jefferson, Jeremy Bentham, Karl Marx. Epicurus was born in the Athenian settlement on the Aegean island of Samos in February 341 BC, his parents and Chaerestrate, were both Athenian-born, his father was an Athenian citizen. Epicurus grew up during the final years of the Greek Classical Period. Plato had died seven years before Epicurus was born and Epicurus was seven years old when Alexander the Great crossed the Hellespont into Persia; as a child, Epicurus would have received a typical ancient Greek education. As such, according to Norman Wentworth DeWitt, "it is inconceivable that he would have escaped the Platonic training in geometry and rhetoric." Epicurus is known to have studied under the instruction of a Samian Platonist named Pamphilus for about four years. His Letter of Menoeceus and surviving fragments of his other writings suggest that he had extensive training in rhetoric.
After the death of Alexander the Great, Perdiccas expelled the Athenian settlers on Samos to Colophon, on the coast of what is now Turkey. After the completion of his military service, Epicurus joined his family there, he studied under Nausiphanes. Epicurus's teachings were influenced by those of earlier philosophers Democritus. Nonetheless, Epicurus differed from his predecessors on several key points of determinism and vehemently denied having been influenced by any previous philosophers, whom he denounced as "confused". Instead, he insisted that he had been "self-taught". According to DeWitt, Epicurus's teachings show influences from the contemporary philosophical school of Cynicism; the Cynic philosopher Diogenes of Sinope was still alive when Epicurus would have been in Athens for his required military training and it is possible they may have met. Diogenes's pupil Crates of Thebes was a close contemporary of Epicurus. Epicurus agreed with the Cynics' quest for honesty, but rejected their "insolence and vulgarity", instead teaching that honesty must be coupled with courtesy and kindness.
Epicurus shared this view with the comic playwright Menander. Epicurus's Lett