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Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 2, Issue 3, 2018

Ancient Greek Philosophy: Hellenistic Philosophy

Christos Yapijakis
Pages 83-88

Ethical Teachings of Epicurus Based on Human Naturein the Light of Biological Psychology

Epicurus observed nature with the aim to achieve serenity and a blissful life. This article discusses current knowledge, regarding the human brain in comparison to Epicurus’ understanding of human nature. The human brain actually consists of three interconnected brains that arose during evolution: the ‘reptilian brain’ (instincts), the ‘mammalian brain’ (emotions) and ‘the primate brain’ (cognitive functions). The philosopher emphasized on the fact that the basic needs of humans lay in instincts, and he determined the purpose of human life on emotional grounds and considered prudence as the supreme agent of selection of physical needs and of satisfaction and preserva-tion of emotional balance through virtue and friendship.

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