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Epicureans The

Epicure’ans, The, derived their name from Epicurus (342–271 b.c.), a philosopher of Attic descent, whose “Garden” at Athens rivalled in popularity the “Porch” and the “Academy.” The doctrines of Epicurus found wide acceptance in Asia Minor and Alexandria. (95–50 b.c.) The object of Epicurus was to find in philosophy a practical guide to happiness. True pleasure and not absolute truth was the end at which he aimed; experience and not reason the test on which he relied. It is obvious that a system thus framed would degenerate by a natural descent into mere materialism; and in this form Epicurism was the popular philosophy at the beginning of the Christian era. When St. Paul addressed “Epicureans and Stoics,” Acts 17:18, at Athens, the philosophy of life was practically reduced to the teaching of these two antagonistic schools.