The Epicurean Views on the Human Soul in Lucretius’ De Rerum Natura
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Epicurean physics elaborates on a system of universal kinetics as regards the crea-tion of the world. One of the main principles is that there is no genesis without motion. The human being, as all other beings, is the product of the motion of atoms within the cosmic void. Due to a sudden swerve in the motion of some atoms, it can be upheld, according to the Epicureans and Lucretius, that there is no determinism in the universe and the human being is capable of free will. The atomic motions and the swerves also take place in the space of the human soul. Lucretius, in the De Rerum Natura, follows with precision the content of the Epicurean dogmas, and divides the soul into an irra-tional part, which he calls anima, and a rational one, animus, according to the distinc-tion between ψυχή and διάνοια.
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