Epicureanism is an ancient philosophical system which was founded by the Green philosopher Epicurus. It puts great emphasis on prioritizing living a happy and content life as a person’s ultimate goal. It mainly focuses on the present day and it completely rejects being fearful of the gods and any notions about the afterlife. In modern times, the word “Epicureanism” is often related with the popular saying, “Eat drink and be merry.” However, Epicureanism does not actually advocate the natural pursuit of bodily pleasure. It is significantly different from the concept of hedonism. Epicurus had a very materialistic view about the world and the rest of the universe. He strongly believed that all of nature consists of space and matter. Science has proven that all matter can be divisible down to the smallest level of atoms. Epicurus believed that the world is eternal so it couldn’t possibly be created nor can it be destroyed. Although there are various types of shapes, sizes, motion and weight, they cannot be felt or seen using a person’s senses. All the atoms in the universe operate in accordance to natural law so he believed that creation could not possibly exist.

Epicurus and his beliefs
Epicureanism completely rejects the idea of an afterlife. A person’s soul is made out of atoms which is just more subtle than the atoms found in a physical body. Epicurus believed that in order to give life, both body and soul must be present. He strongly believed that when a person dies, his soul also disintegrates with it. He suggested that this is the reason why people must not fear death or any type of future punishment. Amidst his beliefs, Epicurus actually believed in the existence of gods. Humanity’s universal opinion and different visions of the gods is proof of their existence. Similar to everything else in the universe, he believed that the gods are also made up of atoms. They are identified as immortal beings because their bodies cannot be dissolved. He believed that the gods are living happy and content lives being detached from society and out of contact with human beings. Epicureanism teaches that there is no need for prayers, providence or fear of the gods. Epicurus believed that a religion only promotes fear in people.

Teachings of Epicureanism
The ultimate goal of Epicureanism is to live a peaceful, happy and pleasurable life. However, it’s important to understand that the pursuit of pleasure in Epicureanism is different from hedonism or self indulgence. Instead, it primarily focuses on contentment, friendships and pleasures of the mind. Epicurus explained that it is human nature to search for pleasure and stay away from anything which causes pain and suffering. He made this concept the primary basis of his guidelines for living a happy and content life. He believed that people should only do things which bring them joy and happiness. He strongly encouraged looking for the highest quality of pleasure. Epicureanism uses three main criteria which evaluates pleasure and pain. These are intensity, duration and purity.

 

Existentialism is a philosophical development that trusts people make the substance and significance of their lives without the requirement for an otherworldly constraints or a God. Existentialism doesn’t preclude the presence from securing God; it just implies that people are totally allowed to pick their predetermination, and are eventually in charge of their lives.

The term Existentialism says ‘about existence’ or logically ‘predicting life.’ In philosophy, the words exist, and life denotes something active rather than passive and thus is strictly dependent on the Latin root ex, ‘out’+ sister from sister ‘to stand. It is the doctrine emphasizes the difference between human life and that of inanimate objects. Any philosophic systems are all centered on the individual and his relationship to the universe or God.

Existential Truth and Factual Truth: What They Say About Religious Texts

Once you are in possession of the truth, you can either tell the truth or hide it from the others. This is one kind of truth, factual truth, that makes lying possible. When a person lies to the other, he is hiding the facts from him. Factual truth, therefore, is a social one: there are witnesses, not just one, who can tell the truth or who can hide the truth, and therefore, lie about the situation. And there are people from whom the facts can hide.

On the other hand, Existential truth deals with the meaning of events whether or not these events occurred. Existential reality can be experienced by anyone for everyone, given a certain level of human experience, understands and have experienced some of the human conditions like compassion, hurt, suffering, love, relationships, wonder, meaning of life, etc. That is why we are touched by events in our lives, news of human interest, books, and movies.

Existential truth does not require a group of witnesses other than one’s self. However, like factual truth, the existential reality is social. Existential truth can be shared with people who have undergone certain universal experiences that they can appreciate the meaning behind every human story. Unlike factual truth, Existential truth is intensely subjective. It is a revelation of a deeper meaning of life. It is not a fact like tables and chairs, or newly discovered papers or artifacts of a thousand years ago. Existential truth is the result of one’s unique relationship with reality that is invisible (not in the manner by which objects are hidden) to those who are not prepared to ‘see’. It has not changed since the dawn of humankind. Existential truth, to be revealed, requires some degree of experience. This is why children are not yet capable of ‘seeing’ for they lack human experiences to grasp the deeper meaning of living.

What of historical truth? Although there is no one today who has lived long to see Abraham Lincoln (or Jesus Christ), there would still be some ‘facts’ that have been preserved. These facts don’t tell the whole story, for it is impossible to gather every fact of a life of a human being or earth. So, it is left to the historians to make sense out of the facts and come up with a reasonable theory or interpretation about the meaning of historical events.

A history that is worth writing about is a story that carries within its womb a deeper meaning for everyone to learn from about themselves and their stations in life. In that regard, there can be some existential truth to be gotten. Read or, even still, watch a movie on Abraham Lincoln, and you will find situations of making hard choices that everyone can relate to.

So, we go back to religious texts. Do they consist of factual events, hence speak of factual truths? It is hard to say because the events occurred a long time ago, and for hundreds of years, many interpretations have been believed to be coming straight from the lips of God. What is more, significant and the reason why religious texts are relevant is that it deals mainly with Existential Truth.

 

Philosophy can essentially be described as a traditional sense or a science in layman’s terms. Philosophers use rationality to arrive at scientific knowledge of our environment and the world as a whole. However, modern times saw philosophy separated from modern sciences and considered as a study in its own right. A study that comprises of fundamental as well as the general nature of knowledge, existence, mind, reason, values and even language. The world has witnessed quite a good number of significant and renowned philosophers throughout the centuries who still appeal to and greatly influence the intellectuality of thinkers in society.

5 most influential philosophers

Despite the fact that the world has had many great philosophers over time, the following are the 5 most influential philosophers the globe has known:

Aristotle
He lived from 384 – 322 BC. He is famous for Aristotelian logic & theory of soul. He is considered as the 3rdd member who had great philosophical influence on the Western world. He provided ideas in areas such as metaphysics, logic, aesthetics, ethics, science and even politics. He was Alexander the great’s teacher and a student of Plato. He wrote treatises such as Nicomachean Ethics. He was a firm believer of ethics of the practical application of ethics.

Friedrich Nietzsche
He was a German Philosopher he lived from 1844 to 1900. He is renowned for his God is dead statement and life-affirmation. His ideas covered much ground and this resulted in people asking questions that they would have otherwise have asked. His main crux was the life-affirmation idea. Other ideas is credited for are master-slave morality, will to power, the Apollonian/Dionysian dichotomy and perspectivism.

Immanuel Kant
He was a German philosopher was lived from 1724 to 1804. He is equally renowned for being an influential philosopher who helped shape the philosophical history of the Western world and a key figure in modern philosophy. He is remembered for his famous argument that the human mind is responsible for structuring human experiences as well as the philosophy that reason is morality’s source. He is also renowned for his attempts at resolving rationalist and empirical approaches. His argument was that using reason without its application to experience only resulted to theoretical illusions. His main works was the Critique of Pure Reason.

Plato
He lived from c. 428 to c. 348 BC. Plato was a Greek philosopher who is also renowned for having a great influence on the current world. He was Socrates’ student. Plato, Aristophanes and Xenophon are credited with penning down quite a number of the teachings of Socrates who never wrote down anything despite being the source of numerous preaching and ideas of Western philosophy. It is through his teachings that the world was able to be enlightened with his philosophical brimming rays. Socrates and Plato are considered to be the ones who gave birth to philosophy itself.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau
He lived from 1712 – 1778. He was popularly referred to as simply Rousseau. He is still significant and important because of his invaluable philosophical contributions as well because of the fact that he influenced many thinkers at a later period. He is famous for his excellent contributions to political and moral philosophy. His philosophical theory is dominated by the concept of preserving the human freedom in an existence whereby people are increasingly being dependent on each other for the satisfaction of their needs. He was also known to be a music theorist, an active composer, a botanist and a novelist.

Conclusion
The above insightful information about 5 most influential philosophers clearly outlines the contributions of some of the most intellectual men that ever walked the planet earth.

A philosopher who takes note of the psychological and neurological influences knowledge has over the inherent nature, he or she can draw conclusions on how the evolution of humaneness rises from benefits to studying philosophy. The philosopher can draw the conclusion that it is mostly philosophical studies that stand between the savage and the civilized. Why?

The rise of ethics can be considered as one of the most important forms of human development. We are taught by our parents how to behave, and the society, in general, enforces some range of values. What they do is that they shape the inherent nature. They form ethical forms of behavior. Ethics becomes neurologically a part of our life as if forming a great region to the brains. Remove ethics from the equation, and all you have left is biological altruism, which can take our humaneness only so far. To create an inquisition was certainly not a part of Christs program of liberating humans into the freedom of sin and enforcing forgiveness. To be a racist is not a part of the latest forms of development in the ethical behavior.

Philosophy considers in one area the nature of our actions. Remove from any holy scripture the elements of divination and all that remains are considerations of the nature of human actions. They refine our efforts. They bring substance and content to our actions, beyond the mere innate nature. Why is something wrong to do is a philosophical question. And so you see, we do philosophical considerations daily.

In ethics, we find the relevance of philosophy in our everyday life even when we are making a decision on should we be selfish or take the needs of someone else into account. How many days have you lived when you had not met an ethical decision?

Philosophy contains another, a somewhat rarer form of knowledge. Our sense of reality is representational. So, what we know of the reality, such qualities are given to it by our subconscious mind. The reality is as if painted with the colors of the known conditions. This is also what substantiates the nature of experience. It creates the foundations to the reality as it is experienced. And its depth and character can be altered with philosophies such as existentialism. The general rules of life become shallow. They can be freely created by the individual. Fundamentally there is none who can claim that “because I experience this-this way. Therefore you must too.” Because of mortality, and because all are born unknowing to this realm, who is, therefore, to force someone to believe in such and such values. It would be against freedom to oppress others into one’s beliefs. And as the values we believe in now will not be the same in twenty thousand years from this point of time, why must an individual think how this decade feels.

When we now see in detail the effects philosophy has over the human nature and the substance we can draw into our lives from philosophy, let us now add the perspective of a cultural continuum. When our innate nature is adjusted with values and as we consider the values that guide our actions natural, what will happen if we continue to develop philosophy? If we change and adjust the values that now dominate this world, we alter the nature of this realm at a fundamental level. Why? Before the rise of feminism, women were considered to be inferior to men. What feminism did was that they changed the values that posed women as inferior. And as they did so, humanity began to behave differently.

The focus on leadership philosophies grew in the 20th century. At first, scholars used the personality traits of people to come up with leadership theories, but then other variables such as situations and skill were paid for attention.

There are some main leadership philosophies and we will take a look at them and their origins in this article. The Great Man leadership theory states that some people are natural leaders by birth. Those who are not natural leaders cannot be made into leaders by providing them with any sort of training; they simply have to resort to becoming followers and work according to the leader’s instructions. This theory came about because of the power and existence of the military rule and its leaders at the time.

The traits theory of leadership states that there are certain qualities that are included in some people’s personalities that make them good leaders. This theory holds little weight because while some leaders may have the ability to communicate well and even understand people well, they may not be able to analyze situations well and may not be very confident. This means that some people may have some leadership qualities but may not be leaders, and some people who do not have leadership qualities may be leaders as well.

The contingency leadership philosophy originated because scholars felt that leadership styles are not used solely because of the attitude of the leader. Instead, there are factors such as the attitude of the followers or the different demands of the situation that lead to certain leadership styles being adopted. Such a leadership philosophy is called the contingency leadership philosophy, where a certain style of leadership is adopted depending upon the circumstances the leader is in.

The behavioral aspect of the leadership philosophy believes that if people do not possess the leadership qualities that are found within universities, they can be made into leaders by providing with training. This philosophy originated when it was determined that leadership traits are not related to the mental qualities of a person. Thus, scholars arrived at the conclusion that leaders could be made.

The participative leadership philosophy believes that decisions can be made by leaders and the employees together. Before this philosophy existed, it was thought that only leaders had the appropriate knowledge and skill to make final decisions. But with the increase in the skill and knowledge that people are receiving these days, this theory believes that even employees are qualified enough to participate in the decision making process. The improvements of education gave birth to this philosophy.

The relationship leadership philosophy states that good leaders are those who build good relationships with the people they work with. This philosophy received weight when it was found that better co-operation and understanding gave birth to success in an organization.

In conclusion, there are many other leadership philosophies that have originated because of different circumstances. The above mentioned philosophies explain the main leadership philosophies and show what caused these theories to be formed. There is no correct leadership philosophy. Each philosophy has its own background and is appropriate in different circumstances.

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