MIA: Encyclopedia of Marxism: Glossary of People



Epicurus (341-270 BC)

Founder of the Epicurean School of philosophy which rivalled Stoicism for 5 - 600 years. Epicurus taught a materialist doctrine, in which the Gods inhabited only a space "between worlds" and did not interfere in the affairs of this world, which were governed by mechanical law or by chance. His logic set out three general principles for the establishment of the truth of a proposition. Sensation is infallible he said, for it proved the reality of outside things; preconceptions are required to cognise through sensation and thus reason. Pleasure and pain constitute the third principle. Epicurus based his physics on Democritus's atomism, but modified it with the introduction of "swerve" which provided an escape from the determinism which followed from Democritus's theory.

See Hegel on the Philosophy of the Epicureans.


Eppstein, Eugen (1878–1943) .

Son of Jewish traders. Had business training, worked in commerce. In SPD (Sozialistische Partei Deutschlands, Social-Democratic Party) in 1897, in opposition in 1914, organiser of Spartacus League in the Ruhr. Secretary from 1920 of Central Rhineland district. Stalwart of Fischer-Maslow left wing, replaced by Dahlem, re-elected in February 1923, dismissed by Zentrale. Reinstated after October 1923, deputy and secretary of North-West district in 1924. Then joined left opposition, left KPD (Kommunistischen Partei Deutschlands/German Communist Party) in 1928, co-founder of Leninbund. Emigrated to France in 1933, arrested by Gestapo, deported from Drancy to Lublin-Majdanek, where he was murdered.