[2.1.1] The Epicurean Mind

“Epicurus’ (341-271 BC) epistemology is resolutely empiricist and anti-skeptical. All of our knowledge ultimately comes from the senses, thinks Epicurus, and we can trust the senses, when properly used…
Epicurus says that there are three criteria of truth: sensations, ‘preconceptions,’ and feelings.”
The UML Use Case diagram below depicts the Epicurean model of the human mind:

The epicurean mind
FacultyRelated Use Case
PERCEPTIONExperience Sensation through PERCEPTION: “…all sensations give us information about the world, but that sensation itself is never in error, since sensation is a purely passive, mechanical reception of images and the like by sense-organs, and the senses themselves do not make judgments ‘that’ the world is this way or that. 
Instead, error enters in when we make judgments about the world based upon the information received through the senses.”
MINDUse Preconception: “…we have certain ‘preconceptions‘–concepts such as ‘body,’ person,’ ‘usefulness,’ and ‘truth’–which are formed in our (material) minds as the result of repeated sense-experiences of similar objects. Further ideas are formed by processes of analogy or similarity or by compounding these basic concepts. Thus, all ideas are ultimately formed on the basis of sense-experience.”
MINDUse Feelings: “…Feelings of pleasure and pain form the basic criteria for what is to be sought and avoided..”

The source of all citations and more about the topic in: Tim O’Keefe, “Epicurus“, Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

First published: 01/03/2019

  • 06/02/2019: changed Use Case names
  • 28/13/2019: added Use Memory

2 thoughts on “[2.1.1] The Epicurean Mind

  1. Leon Dewire 02/02/2023 / 23:27

    Category teachers, thank you for your contributions.


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