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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Having been born, to pass through the gates of Hades as soon as possible. Do and practice, then, the things I have always recommended to you, holding them to be the stairway to a beautiful life. He holds a holy belief concerning the gods, and is altogether free from the fear of death. 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.
Instead, we pass up many pleasures when we will gain more of what we need from doing so. Accustom yourself to believing that death is nothing to us, for good and evil imply the capacity for sensation, and death is the privation of all sentience; therefore a correct understanding that death is nothing to us makes the mortality of life enjoyable, not by adding to life a limitless time, but by taking away the yearning after immortality.
For the virtues have grown into one with a pleasant life, and a pleasant life is inseparable from them. Some translators understand it as applying to “the gods” from the previous sentence, with the sense that the gods would not interfere in human affairs because they don’t care about “consider as alien” mortal creatures who are so different from themselves.
Ed Zalta’s Version of Neo-Logicism: One group member brought up the idea of how addictions form. 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.
Rocco Pezzimenti – – Ler. To habituate one’s self, therefore, to simple and inexpensive diet supplies all that is needful for health, and enables a man to meet the necessary requirements of life without shrinking, and it places us in a better condition when we approach at intervals a costly fare and renders us fearless of fortune.
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. For if he truly believes this, why does he not depart from life? 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.
Letter to Menoikos, by Epicurus
There is also some sort of base line necessities that everyone needs and the goal of having these necessities is the live happy and with pleasure. We must remember that the future is neither wholly ours nor wholly not ours, so that neither ro we count upon it as quite certain to come nor despair of it as quite certain not to come.
For example, one person may need medicine that is necessary for their health. If he believes what he says, why doesn’t he depart from life?
Then we discussed whether or not clothing was necessary.
Epicurus – Letter to Menoeceus
Whatever causes no annoyance when it is present, causes only a groundless pain in the expectation. It is the starting-point of every choice and of every aversion, and to it we come back, inasmuch as we make feeling the rule by which to judge of every good thing. It were better, indeed, to accept the legends of the gods than to bow beneath that yoke of destiny which the natural philosophers have imposed. For life has no terror; for those who thoroughly apprehend that there are no terrors for them in ceasing to live.
For he sees that necessity destroys responsibility and that chance is inconstant; whereas our own actions are autonomous, and it is to them that praise and blame naturally attach. 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 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 for anything else by which the good of the soul and of the body will be fulfilled.
Epicurus in Ancient Greek and Roman Philosophy. 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.
Let no one put off the love and practice of wisdom [ note ] when young, nor grow tired of it when old. For man loses all semblance of mortality by living in the midst of immortal blessings.
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. And even as men 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.
Is there a cut of point of when something transitions? 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. Discussion Summary on Epicurus. For this reason we call pleasure the alpha and omega of a happy life.
Sometimes we treat the good as an evil, and the evil, on the contrary, as a good. So simple flavors bring just as much pleasure as a fancy diet lether all pain from true need has been removed, and bread and water give the highest pleasure when someone in need partakes of them.
So Epicurus says epicuruw desires are necessary and some an unnecessary. 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.
Letter to Menoeceus
By licensing this translation under Creative Commons CC0I hereby release all legal and economic rights to this translation under all jurisdictions including but not limited to the rights to copy, republish, translate, arrange, modify, and make derivative works from this translationand I grant anyone the right to use this translation without conditions for any purpose. For it is never too early or too late for the health of the soul. For life has no terrors for him who has thoroughly understood that there are no terrors for him in ceasing to live.
So when we say that pleasure is the goal, we do not mean the pleasures of decadent people or the enjoyment of sleep, as is believed by those who are ignorant or t don’t understand us or who are ill-disposed to us, but to be free from bodily pain and menoeeceus disturbance. Last updated Wednesday, December 17, at Kevin O’Regan – unknown. We tried to quantify it as how long one could go without it. He who has a clear and certain understanding of these things will direct menofceus preference and aversion toward securing health of body and tranquillity of mind, seeing that this is the sum and end of a happy life.
Our every action is done so that we will not be in pain or fear.