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p. 263. Knowledge and understandinglocked

  • Catherine Wilson


The Epicureans regarded the alleviation of suffering, and especially the suffering produced by fear and anxiety, as the most important contribution of philosophy to life. If all phenomena, even unusual phenomena, arise from the arrangement, motion, and effects of atoms, we cannot be impressed by the power of the gods, and there is no need to placate them or to try to forestall their wrath. ‘Knowledge and understanding’ considers the Epicureans’ explanation of nature, the impact of Epicureanism on the 17th-century Scientific Revolution, and the ability to identify smaller particles with the development of more and more powerful microscopes from the 17th century onwards.

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