epicureanism


noun

  1. the philosophical system or doctrine of Epicurus, holding that the external world is a series of fortuitous combinations of atoms and that the highest good is pleasure, interpreted as freedom from disturbance or pain.
  2. (lowercase) epicurean indulgence or habits.
n.

1751, with reference to a philosophy; 1847 in a general sense, from epicurean + -ism. Earlier was epicurism (1570s).

A form of hedonism defended by several philosophers of ancient Greece. For the Epicureans, the proper goal of action was pleasure — a long-term pleasure, marked by serenity and temperance.

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