Here are some things to expect to see as differences between “Epicurean Week” and “Stoic Week” and the reasons for those differences:
The nature of Stoicism and Epicurean Philosophy are so fundamentally different that you can expect to see many differences in the two approaches, and you may even come away concluding that the two philosophies come at the world from very different perspectives. That’s because they do.
Especially when evaluated according to the views of the ancient Stoics, everything revolves around the universe as divinely ordered, with the conclusion that virtue (as an emanation of the divine) is worth pursuing of and for itself, with no thought of pleasure or any reward to be gained from the pursuit. In fact, so the ancient Stoics thought, were the thought of pleasure or reward considered, that would totally pollute the pursuit of virtue.
This means that the Stoics take as a given the righteousness of their cause (virtue), and they believe there to be no need to question the fundamentals of their world view. They take their world view as accepted, and they can therefore afford to paint their conclusions in the most glowing and glorious colors that they can dream up.
For Epicurus, however, the world view that came to be associated with Stoicism was not just open to challenge – it was indeed fatally flawed to the point of being poisonous.
The divinely ordered Stoic view is essentially P:latonic or Aristotelian. The Stoics posit that a divine creator or prime mover set everything in motion, what has been set in motion must be accepted as the divine will, and that the senses with which we are equipped by Nature are deceptive and totally inadequate for us to understand the “true world” beyond our senses. For those who derive from the Platonic viewpoin (like the Stoics) the true world beyond the senses can never really understand but which we can only begin to approximate through higher mathematics and dialectical logic. As humans we can never be certain that the animal in front of us is a horse, no matter how closely we examine it with our senses - we can only be certain that in a separate realm of ideal forms (or essences) that a true form of “horseness” somewhere exists always beyond our reach.
The Epicurean view is essentially ant-Platonic and antiAristoteilan. Epicurus rejected the existence of a divine creator who set everything or anything in motion. For Epicurus, what has been set in motion arises from the nature of the atoms and void of which it is composed, not because of any divine will. Epicurus did not despair of the reliability of the senses, but seized upon the senses as the only reliable guide through which we may determine any truth which is available to us. Epicurus rejected the idea of a “true world” and doubled down on his atomism. For Epicurus nothing can possibly exist but combinations of atoms and void. This does not mean that the bodies we see and inhabit are not real themselves, but that their reality is a part of the same reality in which the atoms and void exist, and that there is no other reality. Epicurus held that despite the limits of the ability of our senses to resolve individual atoms, the answer was not to dream up a “true world” but to use the information that our senses do provide to reason prudently to conclusions about how the world works as the atoms move through the void to form bodies according to their natural properties, not according to chaotic chance or to divine will. Epicurus would tell us that there is no such thing as “horseness” except as a definition established in the minds of individual humans and communicated among them, and that humans who understand the nature of the universe and of their senses can apply that knowledge and be as confident about what kind of animal is standing in front of them - and that it is indeed a horse - with as much “certainty” as any human could deem reasonable. Epicurus would ask: “Why compare concepts of human certainty against specious arguments about omniscience or omnipotence dreamed up about supernatural beings, or dialectical logical word games, which have no true existence of their own?”
As are result of these fundamental differences, Lucretius and Epicurus began their presentations to others with a discussion of the nature of the universe. The initial presentation of the Epicurean viewpoint touches on both the nature of knowledge and the “physics” of the universe so as to come to a preliminary presentation that makes sense of both. The details are then expanded further - and later - after the big picture of the forest as come into view. Only then does the attention of the presentation turn to the details of the trees.
Given the above, you will see that the standard presentations of Stoicism amount to a kind of “therapy” - but that the Stoic definition of a healthy human is one which leaves them chained in the cave which the Platonists have created for humanity.
Epicurus does indeed have therapeutic advice, but first Epicurus wishes you to understand the true nature of human health. If you are to ever have confidence in your doctor - or your philosopher - you cannot short-circuit the process and skip straight to therapy. You must first understand what human health is, and what it requires, and that is the foundation of the learning plan of Epicurean Basic Training.
The Emily Austin article on Stoicism - Are The Modern Stoics Really Epicurean?
Frederich Nietzsche on Stoicism - “Collection of Nietzsche Quotes Relevant to Epicurean Philosophy”
EpicureanFriends Supplement: A Comparison Chart - Stoic vs Epicurean Philosophies