Tuesday, April 14, 2020


The Good

Cicero, Tusculan Disputations 3.18.41 (quoting Epicurus; tr. A.A. Long and D.N. Sedley):
For my part I cannot conceive of anything as the good if I remove the pleasures perceived by means of taste and sex and listening to music, and the pleasant motions felt by the eyes through beautiful sights, or any other pleasures which some sensation generates in a human being as a whole. Certainly it is impossible to say that mental delight is the only good. For I have come to know a delighted mind by its expectation of all the things I just mentioned — the expectation that our nature will acquire them without pain.

nec equidem habeo, quod intellegam bonum illud, detrahens eas voluptates quae sapore percipiuntur, detrahens eas quae rebus percipiuntur veneriis, detrahens eas quae auditu e cantibus, detrahens eas etiam quae ex formis percipiuntur oculis suaves motiones, sive quae aliae voluptates in toto homine gignuntur quolibet sensu. nec vero ita dici potest, mentis laetitiam solam esse in bonis. laetantem enim mentem ita novi: spe eorum omnium, quae supra dixi, fore ut natura iis potiens dolore careat.
Cf. Epicurus, fragment 67 Usener (21 Arrighetti):
οὐ γὰρ ἔγωγε ἔχω τί νοήσω τἀγαθόν, ἀφαιρῶν μὲν τὰς διὰ χυλῶν ἡδονάς, ἀφαιρῶν δὲ τὰς δι' ἀφροδισίων, ἀφαιρῶν δὲ τὰς δι' ἀκροαμάτων, ἀφαιρῶν δὲ καὶ τὰς διὰ μορφῆς κατ' ὄψιν ἡδείας κινήσεις.

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