Discuss how Epicureanism, Stoicism, and Scepticism were the major schools in Hellenistic and Roman philosophy.

Epicureanism, Stoicism, and Scepticism were the major schools in Hellenistic and Roman philosophy. Compare and contrast these schools in respect to their attempt to minister to the psychological needs of the period, and explain which of these positions you find most attractive and why.

Answer & Explanation
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During the Hellenistic and Roman period, three major schools of philosophy emerged in ancient Greece that had a profound impact on the development of Western thought: Epicureanism, Stoicism, and Scepticism.

Epicureanism was founded by Epicurus, who believed that the highest good in life is pleasure, and that the way to achieve this pleasure is through a life of moderation and the avoidance of pain. Epicureans believed that the universe is made up of atoms that move through empty space, and that everything in the world can be explained in terms of these atoms and their movements. They also believed that the gods, if they existed, had no interest in human affairs, and that death should not be feared because it is simply the end of consciousness.

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Step-by-step explanation
Stoicism, on the other hand, was founded by Zeno of Citium, and it emphasized the importance of reason and the cultivation of virtue as the path to a happy and fulfilling life. According to the Stoics, the universe is governed by a divine reason, and everything that happens is part of a larger plan. They believed that people should strive to live in accordance with nature, and that they should accept whatever happens to them without complaint. The Stoics also believed in the existence of a universal brotherhood of humanity, and that everyone should be treated with compassion and kindness.

Scepticism was a school of philosophy that was founded by Pyrrho of Elis, and it was characterized by a deep skepticism towards the possibility of knowledge. Sceptics believed that all knowledge is uncertain, and that it is impossible to know anything with absolute certainty. They argued that people should suspend judgment about everything, and that they should avoid making any dogmatic claims about the nature of reality. Sceptics also believed that the only way to achieve peace of mind was to let go of all beliefs and desires, and to live in a state of perpetual doubt.

Overall, these three schools of philosophy had a significant impact on the development of Western thought, and their ideas continue to influence philosophical discourse to this day. While they had their differences, they all shared a commitment to the pursuit of wisdom and a deep concern for the well-being of individuals and society.

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