What are the similarities and differences between Lucretius's and Seneca's views on the critical role of reason in enabling us to live the good life?
Reason led Lucretius, an Epicurean, to believe that the world could be comprehended without religion, and that achieving the most pleasurable outcome was the key to the "good life." Seneca, a Stoic, argued that reason dictated that people should accept the things they could not understand or control. This, for him, was essential to the good life.
In addition to being a poet, Lucretius was a philosophical Epicurean. That is, he argued that the purpose of life was to maximize pleasure. What separated him from previous Epicureans was his commitment to understanding the natural world, which led him to the fairly modern conclusion that the world could be understood without what he considered to be superstitions, namely the many different cults that flourished in the Roman Empire during his day. Epicurus argued that the good life...
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