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Ataraxia (Ἀταραξία) is a Greek term used by Pyrrho and Epicurus for a limpid state, characterized by freedom from worry or any other preoccupation.

For the Epicureans, ataraxia was synonymous with the only true happiness possible for a person. It signifies the detached and balanced state of mind that shows that a person has transcended the material world and is now harvesting all the comforts of philosophy.

For the Pyrrhonians, owing to one's inability to say which sense impressions are true and which ones are false, it is a pleasant place that arises from suspending judgment on dogmatic beliefs or anything non-evident and continuing to inquire. The experience was said to have fallen on the painter Apelles who was trying to paint the foam of a horse. He tried and failed so many times that in a rage he threw a sponge he was cleaning his brushes with at the medium and thus produced the effect of the horse's foam.

The Stoics, too, sought mental tranquillity, and saw ataraxia as something to be desired and often made use of the term, but for them the analogous state, attained by the Stoic sage, was apatheia or absence of passion.

In the movie Lucky Number Slevin, the lead character, Slevin, claims to have said condition in which he is free from worry or any other preoccupation.

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Ataraxia" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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