Philosophy Questions and Answers

Start Your Free Trial

What are the similarities and differences between Lucretius and Seneca in how they explain the good life?

Seneca is one of the leading Stoic philosophers while Lucretius is one of the principal exponents of Epicureanism. Seneca is therefore more focused on virtue, whereas Lucretius stresses how to experience life most enjoyably (or least painfully). However, Lucretius believes that the principal good is the avoidance of pain, meaning that one must eschew vice and attachment. He has this in common with Seneca.

Expert Answers info

Colin Cavendish-Jones, Ph.D. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseCollege Professor, Lawyer

bookM.A. from Oxford University

bookPh.D. from St. Andrews University


calendarEducator since 2019

write2,273 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

Seneca and Lucretius are among the leading exponents of the two principal schools of Roman philosophy; Stoicism and Epicureanism. Lucius Annaeus Seneca (Seneca the Younger), a Stoic philosopher, taught in his letters and dialogues that one should pursue wisdom and virtue as the bases of a good life. Life should be as simple as possible and should avoid excess. Seneca said that excessive emotion, vice, and luxury make a man no better than a slave, since they keep his...

(The entire section contains 241 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial