哪种生活方式，伊壁鸠鲁或斯多葛派获得了最大的幸福感？在他的着作“斯多葛派，伊壁鸠鲁派和怀疑论者”中，古典主义者R.W. Sharples开始回答这个问题。他向读者介绍了在两种哲学观点中创造幸福的基本方式，通过并置思想流派来突出两者之间的批评和共性。他描述了从每个角度实现幸福所必需的特征，得出的结论是，伊壁鸠鲁主义和斯多葛主义都同意亚里士多德的观点，即“一个人是这样，一个人采取的生活方式确实会直接影响他们所采取的行动”。 Sharples认为Epicureans拥抱亚里士多德的自爱概念，因为Epicureanism的目标被定义为通过消除身体疼痛和精神焦虑实现的愉悦。伊壁鸠鲁的信仰基础属于三类欲望，包括自然和必然，自然但不必要，以及不自然的欲望。那些遵循伊壁鸠鲁世界观的人消除了所有非自然的欲望，例如获得政治权力或成名的野心，因为这些欲望都会助长焦虑。伊壁鸠鲁人依靠通过提供食物和水来提供庇护和消除饥饿来释放身体免于痛苦的欲望，并指出简单的食物提供与豪华膳食相同的乐趣，因为进食的目的是获取营养。从根本上说，伊壁鸠鲁人相信人们重视从性，友谊，接纳和爱中获得的自然愉悦。在享受节俭的过程中，伊壁鸠鲁人对自己的欲望有了认识，并有能力充分欣赏偶尔的奢侈品。伊壁鸠鲁人认为，获得幸福的途径来自于退出公共生活并与亲密，志同道合的朋友居住。夏普尔斯引用了普鲁塔克对伊壁鸠鲁主义的批评，认为通过退出公共生活来实现幸福，忽视了人类精神帮助人类，拥抱宗教，承担领导角色和责任的愿望。与享受高贵的伊壁鸠鲁人不同，斯多葛派通过相信美德和智慧是实现满足的必要能力，最重视自我保护。斯多葛学派相信，理性会引导我们追求特定的事物，同时避免其他事物，这符合将来为我们提供的服务。斯多葛学派宣称四种信仰的必要性，以实现幸福，最重要的是仅仅依靠理性而产生的美德。在一生中获得的财富用于执行良性行为和一个人身体的健康水平，这决定了一个人的自然推理能力，这两者都代表了斯多葛派的核心信念。最后，无论后果如何，都必须始终履行自己的职责。通过展示自我控制，斯多葛派的追随者按照智慧，勇敢，正义和温和的美德生活。与斯多葛学派观点相反，夏普尔斯注意到亚里士多德的论点，即只有美德才能创造最幸福的生活，而且只有通过美德和外在商品的结合才能实现。
Which lifestyle, Epicurean or Stoic, achieves the greatest amount of happiness? In his book “Stoics, Epicureans and Skeptics,” Classicist R.W. Sharples sets out to answer this question. He introduces readers to the fundamental ways in which happiness is created within the two philosophical perspectives, by juxtaposing the schools of thought to highlight criticisms and commonality between the two. He describes the characteristics deemed necessary to achieve happiness from each perspective, concluding that both Epicureanism and Stoicism agree with the Aristotelian belief that “the sort of person one is and the lifestyle one adopts will indeed have an immediate bearing on the actions one performs.” Sharples suggests that Epicureans embrace Aristotle’s conception of self-love because the goal of Epicureanism is defined as pleasure achieved through the removal of physical pain and mental anxiety. The Epicurean’s foundation of belief rests within three categories of desires, including the natural and necessary, the natural but not necessary, and the unnatural desires. Those who follow an Epicurean worldview eliminate all non-natural desires, such as ambition to attain political power or fame because both of these desires foster anxiety. Epicureans rely on the desires that free the body from pain by providing shelter and abolishing hunger through the supply of food and water, noting that simple foods provide the same pleasure as luxurious meals because the goal of eating is to gain nourishment. Fundamentally, Epicureans believe people value the natural delights derived from sex, companionship, acceptance, and love. In practicing frugality, Epicureans possess an awareness of their desires and have the capability to appreciate occasional luxuries to the fullest. Epicureans argue that the path to securing happiness comes by withdrawing from public life and residing with close, like-minded friends. Sharples cites Plutarch’s criticism of Epicureanism, which suggests that achieving happiness through withdrawal from public life neglects the desire of the human spirit to help mankind, embrace religion, and take on leadership roles and responsibility. Unlike the Epicureans who hold pleasure paramount, the Stoics grant the highest importance to self-preservation, by believing that virtue and wisdom are the necessary abilities to achieve satisfaction. Stoics believe reason leads us to pursue specific things while avoiding others, in accordance with what will serve us well in the future. The Stoics declare the necessity of four beliefs in order to achieve happiness, placing the utmost importance on virtue derived from reason alone. Wealth obtained during one’s lifetime utilized to perform virtuous actions and the fitness level of one’s body, which determines one’s natural ability to reason, both represent core beliefs of the Stoics. Lastly, regardless of the consequences, one must always perform his/her virtuous duties. By exhibiting self-control, the Stoic follower lives according to the virtues of wisdom, bravery, justice, and moderation. In contradiction to the Stoic perspective, Sharples notes Aristotle’s argument that virtue alone will not create the happiest possible life, and is achieved only through the combination of virtue and external goods.