Stoicism, Epicureanism, and Eclecticism

Zeno of Citium (334BC – 262BC) was founder of the Stoic school of philosophy at the "Stoa Poikile" ("Painted Portico") with its famous painting of Battle of Marathon against Persia. Influenced by the moral ideas of the Cynics, the followers of Socrates.

Cynics: As reasoning creatures, people gained happiness through asceticism, rejecting all conventional desires for wealth power and fame, flouting conventions openly and derisively in public. As a word it related to the Greek word for "dogs" (canines) begging. Stoicism laid great emphasis on a life of virtue (manly) in accordance with nature.

Alternatively Epicureanism by Epicurus (341BC - 270BC) claimed that all should seek to maximize pleasure by removing pain from their lives.

Let’s now examine their differences.
While Stoicism claimed that living justly and virtuously was the highest good that one could experience, and that pleasure and pain were to be treated indifferently,
Pleasure, as Epicurus regarded it, was the “beginning and end of the blessed life.” In the famous garden of the Epicurean school, its motto as inscribed on the gate stated: “Stranger, you would do good to stay awhile, for here the highest good is pleasure.” He taught that the root of all human neurosis was denial of death, due to the tendency for human beings to assume that death was going to be horrific and painful, which he claimed caused unnecessary anxiety, selfish self-protective behaviors, and hypocrisy.

According to Epicurus, death was the end of both the body and the soul and therefore should not be feared. Epicurus taught that although the gods existed, they had no involvement in human affairs, and that people should behave ethically not because the gods punish or reward people for their actions, but because amoral behavior burdened the person with guilt and prevented them from attaining ataraxia (serene calmness).

Finally Eclecticism: the practice of deriving (selecting) ideas, style, or taste from a broad and diverse range of sources.

** End of Page