A new, public-domain translation of the Letter to Menoikos of Epicurus, including the original Greek text along with notes on the translation. Letter to Menoeceus By Epicurus. Translated by Robert Drew Hicks. Greeting. Let no one be slow to seek wisdom when he is young nor weary in the search. Letter to Menoeceus. Epicurll«1 (TranAated by Brad Inwo(Jd and L. R Geraon). Let no one delay the study of philosophy while young nor weary of it when old.
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For the end of all our actions is to be free from pain and fear, and, when once we have attained all this, the tempest of the soul is laid; seeing that the living creature has no need to go in search of something that is lacking, nor to look anything else by which the good of the soul and of the body will be fulfilled. We must remember that the future is neither wholly ours nor wholly not ours, so that neither must we count upon it as quite certain to come nor despair of it as quite certain not to come.
And he who admonishes the young to live well and the old to make a good end speaks foolishly, not merely because of the desirability of life, but because the same exercise at once teaches to live well and to die well. Where is the Harm in Dying Prematurely? This rendering is consistent with the connection that Epicurus makes between such desires and opinions that are not based on an understanding of the inborn requirements of human nature.
While therefore all pleasure because it is naturally akin to us is good, not all pleasure is should be chosen, just as all pain is an evil and yet not all pain is to be shunned. And often we consider pains superior to pleasures when submission to the pains for a long time brings us as a consequence a greater pleasure. So simple flavors bring just as much pleasure as a fancy diet if all pain from true need has been removed, and bread and water give the highest pleasure when someone in need partakes of them.
This web edition published by: Only published works are available at libraries. Only a fool says that he fears death because it causes pain ahead of time, not because it will cause pain when it comes. He believes that the misfortune of the wise is better than the prosperity of the fool. Yet the wise man does not dishonor life since he is not set against it and he is not afraid to stop living since he does not consider that to be a bad thing.
Immortality, Authenticity, and Living Forever in the Present. Sometimes we treat the good as an evil, and the evil, on the contrary, as a good. And even as people choose of food not merely and simply the larger portion, but the more pleasant, so the wise seek to enjoy the time which is most pleasant and not merely that which is longest. And of the necessary desires some are necessary if we are to be happy, some if the body is to be rid of uneasiness, some if we are even to live.
For the utterances of the multitude about the gods are not true preconceptions but false assumptions; hence it is that the greatest evils happen to the wicked and the greatest blessings happen to the good from the hand of the gods, seeing that they are always favorable to their own good qualities and take pleasure in people like to themselves, but reject as alien whatever is not of their kind. He believes that the misfortune of the wise is better than the prosperity of the fool.
Last updated Wednesday, December 17, at It were better, indeed, to accept the legends of the gods than to bow beneath destiny which the natural philosophers have imposed.
Letter to Menoikos
Ed Zalta’s Version of Neo-Logicism: Believe about him whatever may uphold both his blessedness and his immortality. And of the necessary desires some are necessary if we are to be happy, some if the body is to be rid of uneasiness, some if we are even to live.
Oxygen would be the most lettfr and then water, food, shelter and so on.
It is nothing, then, either petter the living or to the dead, for with the living it is not and the dead exist no longer. It is not impious to deny the gods that most people believe in, but to ascribe to the gods what most people believe.
It would be easy for him to do so once he were firmly convinced. The one holds out some faint hope that we may escape if we honor the gods, while the necessity of the naturalists is deaf to all entreaties. So the questions I brought to class follows:. Peirce Society 43 4: And since pleasure is our first and native good, for that reason we do not choose every pleasure whatever, but often pass over many pleasures when a greater annoyance ensues from them.
Such as food, water, oxygen, shelter. For there are gods, and the knowledge of them is manifest; but they are not such as the multitude believe, seeing that men do not steadfastly maintain the notions they form respecting them.
By pleasure we mean the absence of pain in the body and of trouble in the soul. First, believe that god is a blissful, immortal being, as is commonly held. The Greek text is in the public domain. Although I cannot provide complete justification for that expansion in a brief note, I shall do so in a forthcoming book on Epicurus.
The thought of life is no offense to him, nor is the cessation of life regarded as an evil. Epicurus in Ancient Greek and Roman Philosophy. In short, whom do you consider better than someone who holds pious opinions about the gods, who is always fearless in the face of death, who has reasoned out the natural goal of life, and who has understood that the limit of good things is easy to fulfill and easy to achieve, whereas the limit of bad things is either short-lived or causes little pain?
Of all this the beginning and the greatest good is wisdom. Community projects during Reading Week. Diderot’s Early Philosophical Works. And we consider many pains to be better than pleasures, if we experience a greater pleasure for a long time from having endured those pains. For this reason prudence is a more precious thing even than the other virtues, for ad a life of pleasure which is not also a life of prudence, honor, and justice; nor lead a life of prudence, honor, and justice, which is not also a life of pleasure.
Epicurus, Letter to Menoeceus – PhilPapers
We must also reflect that of desires some are natural, others are groundless; and that of the natural some are necessary as well as natural, and some natural only. By pleasure we mean the absence of pain in the body and of trouble in the soul. Denis Diderot – – New York: Is there a cut of point of when something transitions? Exercise yourself in these and kindred precepts day and night, both by menoeces and with him who is like to you; then never, either in waking or in dream, will you be disturbed, but will live as a god among people.