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 – Epicurus – Translated by Robert Drew Hicks – Epicurus; BC, was an ancient Greek philosopher as well as the founder of the. In this letter, Epicurus recommends to Menoeceus that he conduct his life according to certain prescripts, and in accordance with certain beliefs, in order that his.
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Epcurus statement of the Ethic of Reciprocity as the foundation of ethics is the earliest in Ancient Greece, and he differs from the formulation of utilitarianism by Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill by emphasizing the minimization of harm to oneself and others as the way to maximize happiness.
Destiny which some introduce as sovereign over all things, he laughs to scorn, affirming rather that some things happen of necessity, others by chance, others through our own agency.
Discussion summary on : Epicurus Letter to Menoeceus
This web edition published by eBooks Adelaide. It is better, in short, that what is well judged in action should not owe its successful issue to the aid of chance.
At the age of 18 he went to Athens for his two-year term of military service. Therefore, both old and young alike ought to seek wisdom, the former in order that, as age comes over him, he may be young in good things because of the grace of what has been, and the latter in order that, while he is young, he may at the same time be old, because he has no fear of the things which are to come.
And I beg you to take care of the children of Metrodorus, in a manner worthy of the devotion shown by the young man to me, and to philosophy. Death, therefore, the most awful of evils, is nothing to us, seeing that, when we are, death is not come, and, when death is come, we are not. Much worse is he who says that it were good not to be born, but when once one is born to pass quickly through the gates of Hades.
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 letteer of their kind.
It were better, indeed, to accept the menoefeus of the gods than to bow beneath that yoke of destiny which the natural philosophers have imposed.
Discussion summary on : Epicurus Letter to Menoeceus – Philosophy course site
Nor does he hold chance to be a god, as the world in general does, for in the acts of a god there is no disorder; nor to be a cause, though an uncertain one, for he believes that no good or evil is dispensed by chance to people so as to make life happy, though it supplies the starting-point of great good and great evil.
It epicueus, however, by measuring one against another, and by looking at the conveniences and inconveniences, that all menoecejs matters must be judged. And to say that the season for studying philosophy has not yet come, or that it is past and gone, is like saying that the season for happiness is not yet or that it is now no more. As a boy he studied philosophy for four years under the Platonist teacher Pamphilus.
Pace Socrates and Plato, even the soul is not immortal: To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. Lists with This Book. Those things which without ceasing I have declared unto you, do them, and exercise yourself in them, holding them to be the elements of right life.
Sometimes we treat the good as an evil, and the evil, on the contrary, as a good. Epicurus by Epicurus.
By pleasure we mean the absence of pain in the body and of trouble in the soul. While therefore all pleasure because it is naturally akin to us is good, not all pleasure is worthy of choice, just as all pain is an evil and yet not all pain is to be shunned. It were easy for him to do so, if once he were firmly convinced. Myriah Starrs rated it liked it Jan 04, We said that clothing would not be necessary if a shelter was well built, or if you lived in a warm climate.
Much worse is he who says that it were good not to be born, but when once one is born to pass with all speed through the gates of Hades.
Letter to Menoeceus: Epicurus by Epicurus
But the cheerfulness of my mind, which comes from the recollection of all my philosophical contemplation, counterbalances all these afflictions. Oxygen would be the most necessary and then water, food, shelter and so on. Let no one be slow to seek wisdom when he is young nor weary in the search of it when he has grown old.
It is nothing, then, either to the living or to the dead, for with the living it is not and the dead exist no longer.
He who has a clear and certain understanding of these things will direct every preference and aversion toward securing health of body and tranquillity of mind, seeing that this is the sum and end of a blessed life. The wise menoecrus does not deprecate life nor does he fear the cessation of life. For Epicurus, the purpose of philosophy was to attain the happy, tranquil life, characterized by ataraxia-peace and freedom from fear-and aponia-the absence of pain-and by living a self-sufficient life surrounded by friends.
Arn rated it it was amazing Nov 05, Camille A rated it liked it Aug 15, He has diligently considered the end fixed by nature, and understands how easily the limit of good things can be reached and attained, and how either the duration or the intensity of evils is but slight. Let no one be slow to seek wisdom when he is young nor weary in the search thereof when he is grown old.
And of the necessary desires some are necessary if epicudus are to be happy, some if the body is to be rid of uneasiness, some if we are even to live. So the questions I brought to class follows:.
Accustom yourself to believe that death is nothing to us, for good and evil imply awareness, and death is the privation of all mehoeceus therefore a right understanding that death is nothing to us makes the mortality of life enjoyable, not by adding to life an unlimited time, but by taking away the yearning after immortality.
He taught that pleasure and pain are measures of what is good and evil; death is the end of both body and soul and should therefore not be feared; the gods neither reward nor punish humans; the universe is infinite and eternal; and events in the world are ultimately based on the motions and interactions of atoms moving in eplcurus space.
After the completion of his military service, Epicurus joined his family there. For he sees that necessity destroys responsibility and that chance is inconstant; whereas our own actions are autonomous, and it is to them that letter and blame naturally attach.
And he who admonishes the young to live well and the old to make a good end speaks foolishly, not merely because of the epicurua of life, but because the same exercise at once teaches to live well and to die well. He then founded a school in Lampsacus before returning to Athens in BC.