Epicurus On Images

  • Images are significant in Epicurean philosophy for the light they shed on Epicurus' theory of how we receive information about the outside world. There is a long discussion in Book 4 of Lucretius on this topic. Although our understanding of light and hearing and other sensations is much different today, the discussion of images shows that Epicurus understood the nature of illusions and other distortions in the information we perceive about the outside world, and therefore the necessity of adjusting for those distortions.

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  • Epicurus in his letter to Herodotus (Bailey) very clearly states: "The movement of elementary material through space leads to images which, when received by our senses, are our means of knowledge."

    And as follows: