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More's Life of Pico: a Christian Epicureanism?

More's Life of Pico: a Christian Epicureanism? This essay examines More's engagement with Epicurean philosophy in his Life of Pico. In the Life, More enters the humanist debate on the possibility of a synthesis between Christianity and Epicureanism using Pico as a model. More's method imitates the eudaimonism of his classical sources insofar as it employs human happiness as a standard for examining the best way of life. In his evaluations of Pico, More uses the concept of the summum bonum and a hierarchy of human goods in order to show that Epicureanism mistakes the nature of the greatest good: in positing that the best life entails withdrawal from political community and social duties in order to enjoy the pleasures of philosophy, Epicureanism undermines the equanimity that it aims to achieve. As an alternative, More upholds the life of piety and Christian service as the source of “solid” happiness. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Moreana Edinburgh University Press

More's Life of Pico: a Christian Epicureanism?

Moreana , Volume 59 (1): 17 – Jun 1, 2022

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Publisher
Edinburgh University Press
Copyright
Copyright © Edinburgh University Press
ISSN
0047-8105
eISSN
2398-4961
DOI
10.3366/more.2022.0117
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This essay examines More's engagement with Epicurean philosophy in his Life of Pico. In the Life, More enters the humanist debate on the possibility of a synthesis between Christianity and Epicureanism using Pico as a model. More's method imitates the eudaimonism of his classical sources insofar as it employs human happiness as a standard for examining the best way of life. In his evaluations of Pico, More uses the concept of the summum bonum and a hierarchy of human goods in order to show that Epicureanism mistakes the nature of the greatest good: in positing that the best life entails withdrawal from political community and social duties in order to enjoy the pleasures of philosophy, Epicureanism undermines the equanimity that it aims to achieve. As an alternative, More upholds the life of piety and Christian service as the source of “solid” happiness.

Journal

MoreanaEdinburgh University Press

Published: Jun 1, 2022

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