Monday, 24 April 2017

Epicurus (SLI): Personality Type Analysis

Epicurus was born to a poor Athenian colonist in Samos, where he was neither wealthy nor aristocratic and apparently suffered from ill health for much of his life. His philosophy represents a creative blend of the metaphysical interests of the Presocratics with the ethical concerns of Socrates. As much of his view aligned with Democritus, Epicurus espoused an atomic metaphysics, but combined and justified it with therapeutic hedonism, in which the anxieties of contemporary life were salved by the pursuit of pleasure without fear of divine punishment.

In essence, Epicurus follows Democritus' atomism, yet with one major modification. According to Epicurus, atoms in the void originally moved in undisturbed parallel lines. However, some atoms swerved from their course by a spontaneous act of free will. The resulting collisions giving rise to the myriad forms of things and the phenomenal world as we know it. This important modification of atomism allowed Epicurus to proclaim mechanism, but reject determinism as an explanation of human behavior, one of the primary reasons of Epicurus' dissatisfaction with Democritus' philosophy. Although he kept to the idea that the soul was itself nothing but the movement of atoms in the material body, some atoms could freely "swerve in the void". This mysterious and wholly unaccounted for property allowed Epicurus to maintain a concept human free will against the critics of earlier atomic theories. What is most obvious in Epicurus' rationality, is his accentuation on the communication with tactile information and how firmly this impacts human conduct. This is a man who tried to deliberately refine the nature of their lived experience by carrying on with an existence of excellence, diminishing showiness, taking into account the possibility of a minimizing agony and inconvenience however much as could reasonably be expected. This solid familiarity with tactile jolts and impression of minimizing inconvenience for the simplicity of work and enhancing oneself through virtue fits S1 and Delta values.

It is clear however, that Epicurus' real interest was not speculative metaphysics, but with the practical philosophy of life which required atomism only for it's theoretical underpinnings. His ethical teachings consisted in the pursuit of happiness, which he conceived was the elimination of pain - both mental and physical. Of the two, Epicurus taught that mental suffering is far worse, for either physical pain either soon abates and can be brought under the control of the mind or results in death. Death was not something to be feared, since there is no afterlife and no avenging the gods. The soul is perfectly in accordance with the doctrine of atomism, merely the concentration of atoms which will be dispersed upon bodily death. Mental anguish on the other hand, in the form of anxieties and fears, could continue unabated and result in distraction, depression and other psychological ills. Epicurus' method of dealing with philosophies was - to a great extent - based on using data that had down to earth application to the life of the normal man. He had an incredible handle on the procedures that could be utilized to collaborate with their general surroundings and could settle on sensible and logical choices without direction from others, which fits P2. This inclination of extracting helpful information from various methods of insight to better address the issues that required this data is normal with sorts who have P2 and L8, demonstrating a characteristic inclination for P over L.

Although thought of as a hedonist because of his emphasis on the pursuit of pleasure, it would be a mistake to think of Epicurus as condoning a promiscuous or decadent lifestyle - an accusation leveled at him by the stoic philosopher Epictetus. On the contrary, he was aware that many of these bodily pleasures brought with them pain or painful consequences. He himself was a man of little means and of poor health, given which it is perhaps unsurprising that central to his philosophy were both prudence and temperance. Epicurus also taught that wisdom was the greatest virtue, for through it we could learn which pleasures to seek and which to avoid. Moreover, he professed that no one could be completely happy unless the lived a virtuous life, not because virtue was good in itself, but because it led to pleasurable consequences and the absence of pain. Furthermore, Epicurus found the possibility of himself being the organizer of the Epicurean rationality to have assembled to some degree a religion taking after, which astounded him in all regards. He basically formulated along these lines of deduction to better help those people discover joy by carrying on with a way of life without overabundance or sin - he declined to fit the part of a kind of "pioneer" in spite of others' endeavors to urge him to do as such. This conduct of totally dismissing the possibility of common social occasion on the reason of tolerating his system of deduction shows degraded E and L, in all probability E4.

Like Democritus and other Presocratics before him, Epicurus rejected the idea of anthropomorphic gods who were cognizant of human affairs. Indeed, he was the first to formulate an argument that later became called 'the problem of evil' for those who maintain that there is an all-loving, all knowing, all-powerful deity. Noting that many ills suffered by people in the world, Epicurus complained, "Is God willing to prevent evil, but is not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then how can there be evil? Even so, Epicurus was not an atheist, since he believed in the existence in deities, but that these deities had no interest in human affairs - which would have distracted them from their own pursuit of pleasure in contemplation. This contention for dismissing the presence of divine intervention sets the case of Epicurus' inclination to mentally build up the clarity of their inner voice. In spite of the fact that every one of his talks, he assembling his own assessments and insights on issues they feel convey moral significance. Fundamentally, this was the consequence of his substantial enthusiasm for moral issues, despite the fact that he discussed this on the misrepresentation of his contentions and gave almost no backing to the moral thinking behind these matters - the definite inverse of his capacity to bolster a case sensibly. This leads to the likelihood of R6, in that he various methods and moral standards on what should be done to carry on with a virtuous life. However, he carried on with most share of his life spent in isolation and didn't appear to want to make any social contributions with Greek society at the time.

Epicurus' philosophy represents a curious mixture of opposing ideas. He is at once a "hedonist" who preaches prudence and temperance, a "theist" who rejects divine intervention and the survival of the soul and an "atomist" who upholds both mechanism and free will. His followers became known as the Epicureans, the most famous of whom was Lucretius. Epicurean philosophy enjoyed almost six hundred years of popularity, remaining faithful to the teachings of it's founder throughout - before being eclipsed by the Roman interest in Stoicism. Interestingly enough, Epicurus was completely unflappable in contentions, failing to fight back or reacting in an unrefined way to the questioner. Rather, he listened to the significant reactions inside the exchange and answered with productive analysis on the most proficient method to better enhance the condition of the examination, which supports the claim of an individual who likely devalued F, fitting the idea of F7.  

Thus far what has been mentioned about Epicurus clearly points towards S1, P2, E4, R6, F7 and L8. In conclusion, I believe Epicurus is a very good representative of the SLI type of information metabolism.

To learn more about SLI, click here.

If you are confused by our use of Socionics shorthand, click here.

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