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Word of the Day
Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Definitions for ataraxia

  1. a state of freedom from emotional disturbance and anxiety; tranquillity.

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Citations for ataraxia
Remember that the goal of the great Epicurus was not an earthly he-done (Hedonism), or pleasure, but a lofty ataraxia, or freedom from cares and trivial thoughts. H. P. Lovecraft, Selected Letters, 1965–1976
"I feel lucid," he manages to say, "I want to think." She looks pleased. "We call that the ataraxia effect. It's so nice when it goes that way." Ataraxia, philosophical calm. James Tiptree, Jr., "Houston, Houston, Do You Read?" 1976
Origin of ataraxia
Ataraxia “impassiveness, calmness” is best known from and associated with the ethics of the Athenian philosopher Epicurus (341–270 b.c.). It is acquired by shunning politics and obnoxious people, by paying no attention to the gods or an afterlife, and by devoting oneself to trustworthy friends and a simple life. Ataraxia was important to the Stoic philosophers, also, but for them the final goal was apatheia, which means not “apathy” in the modern sense but “calmness,” imperturbability gained from the pursuit of virtue. Ataraxia (spelled atarxie) entered English in the early 17th century.
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