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Philosophy, for Epicurus, serves the purpose of attaining ataraxia.

Whereas philosophy in general denotes literally the love (and consequently pursuit) of wisdom, the term acquires a significantly narrower meaning in Epicureanism than it had in other Hellenistic schools: Epicureans decidedly did not pursue encyclopedic knowledge (as did, for example, Aristotelian Peripatetics), nor virtue for its own sake (as did the Stoics).

Instead, philosophy is frequently described by Epicurus and his followers in medicinal terms, i.e. as a discipline by which health (meaning ataraxia, in terms of Epicurean ideals) is to be attained.

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