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The Greek philosopher Epicurus (341 B.C.-270 B.C.) believed that life should be based on happiness and tranquility, free from fear and pain, and spent among the company of friends. Followers of this lifestyle led to the philosophy of Epicureanism. Two principal states, those of ataraxia--living at peace with oneself and without fear; and aponia--living without bodily pain, were key aspects of an Epicurean life. Epicurus equated pleasure with goodness, and pain with evil, and he believed death was a finite state for both the body and soul. Based on atomic materialism, Epicureanism is linked to a milder form of hedonism, though Epicurus advocated a simple lifestyle without great excesses; abstention from bodily desires, such as sex and the appetite for rich foods, were promoted, unlike the modern hedonistic philosophy. Epicurus also disavowed superstitions and divine beings, and politics. Epicureanism was largely anti-Platonism and, later, anti-Stoicism.


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