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Abstract


An Evaluation of Epicurus and Lukretius' Perceptions of Death and Non-Existence
Death is an undeniable fact of life. Whether it is a bad or feared thing is an important discussion that can be brought back to the ancient Greek philosophers. This article is primarily concerned with the discussion on what grounds Epicurus's thesis "death, is nothing to us; since when we exist, death is not yet present, and when death is present, then we do not exist," and to what extent satisfactory results are reached. Later, it tries to investigate how Lucretius, who is regarded as the successor of Epicurus, derives the result of meaningless of fear of death from the symmetrical relationship between prenatal and post-mortem non-existences. Finally, it refers to the modern asymmetric approaches which argue that, contrary to Lucretius's claim, the relationship between these two periods of non-existence is not symmetrical, because there are serious differences between the later birth and the later death of people, given their deprivations. This article argues that death has a mystery that raises the anxiety that comes from the nature of death; however, it defends the idea that it makes a significant contribution to the meaning of life.

Keywords
Death, Epicurus, Lucretius, non-existence, symmetry argument.


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