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Ζηνων Zenon
Full name Ζηνων Zenon
Born c. 150 BCE
Sidon, Phoenicia
Died c. 75 BCE
Athens?
Era Ancient philosophy
Region Western philosophy
School Epicureanism
Main interests Ethics, Mathematics

Zeno of Sidon (c. 150-c. 75 BCE[1]) was an Epicurean philosopher, who was born in the city of Sidon in Phoenicia. He was a contemporary of Cicero, who heard him when at Athens.[2][3]

He was sometimes termed the "leading Epicurean" (Latin: Coryphaeus Epicureorum).[2] Cicero states that Zeno was contemptuous of other philosophers, and even called Socrates "the Attic Buffoon."[4] He was a disciple of Apollodorus,[5] and Cicero and Diogenes Laërtius both describe him as an accurate and polished thinker.[2][5]

Zeno held that happiness is not merely dependent upon present enjoyment and prosperity, but also on a reasonable expectation of their continuance and appreciation.[3]

Zeno also studied the philosophy of mathematics based on the derivation of all knowledge from experience. He criticized Euclid, seeking to show that deductions from the fundamental principles (Greek: ἀρχαί) of geometry cannot, on their own, be proved:

[Some] admit the principles but deny that the propositions coming after the principles can be demonstrated unless they grant something that is not contained in the principles. This method of controversy was followed by Zeno of Sidon, who belonged to the school of Epicurus, and against whom Posidonius has written a whole book.[6]

Among the charred papyrus remains at the Villa of the Papyri at Herculaneum, there is an Epitome of Conduct and Character, from the Lectures of Zeno written by Philodemus. It contains the essays On Frank Criticism[7] and On Anger.[8]

Notes

  1. ^ Tiziano Dorandi, Chapter 2: Chronology, in Algra et al. (1999) The Cambridge History of Hellenistic Philosophy, page 52. Cambridge.
  2. ^ a b c Cicero, de Natura Deorum, i. 21.
  3. ^ a b Cicero, Tusculan Disputations, iii. 17.
  4. ^ Cicero, de Natura Deorum, i. 34.
  5. ^ a b Diogenes Laërtius, x.
  6. ^ Proclus, ad I. Euclid, iii.
  7. ^ PHerc. 1471
  8. ^ PHerc. 182
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