Epicurean Epistemology

Provide a 5 pages analysis while answering the following question: Epicurean Epistemology. Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the APA Style Guide. An abstract is required. Epicurus’ notion of preconception appears to be understandable as the memory of previously conceived objects or thoughts. “By preconception they mean a sort of apprehension or correct belief or concept or universal thought stored up, that is, a memory of what has often appeared externally to us,” (Diogenes Laertius in Annas, 201). It is “pre-conceived” in the sense that in order to make meaningful any given knowledge claim, there must first be a conception or conjuring of concepts or ideas prior to the actual understanding. In other words, in order to make sense of a statement such as, “There is a man by the window,” there should be a preconception of “man” and “window”. This means that those concepts must be understood or grasped first before the statement can be rendered meaningful. The idea of preconception is therefore important because everything else that can be understood can only be done so or made possible through a prior grasp of such basal concepts. “Preconceptions, therefore, are clear. The object of belief depends on something prior which is clear to which we refer when we speak,” (201). This is interesting because it would then seem that Epicurus’ ideas anticipate the positivist pattern for knowledge acquisition and generation of perception of ideas → concept formation → knowledge.

Perception is the immediate grasp of that which presents itself to the senses without the aid or mediation of any external instrument or means. For Epicurus, perceptions are true for the primary reason that perceptions always focus on the “now-ness”, or the present grasp. “It is the special function of perception to grasp only what is present,” (202). It can be said, therefore, that there is a perception of something when there is an immediate and pure reception of sense-data.&nbsp.

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