Wednesday, July 22, 2020


The Motion of the Ocean

Eusebius, Praeparatio Evangelica 14.18.32 (tr. Ugo Zilioli):
Among his [Aristippus the Elder's] hearers, there was his daughter Arete, who had a son and called him Aristippus. He was introduced to philosophy by her and for that he was termed 'mother-taught'. He clearly defined pleasure as the end, inserting into his doctrine the concept of pleasure related to motion. For he said, there are three conditions of our temperament: one, in which we are in pain, is like a storm at sea; another, in which we experience pleasure and which can be compared to a gentle wave, for pleasure is a gentle movement, similar to a fair wind; and the third is an intermediate condition, in which we experience neither pain nor pleasure, which is like a calm. He said we have perception of these affections alone.

τούτου γέγονεν ἀκουστὴς σὺν ἄλλοις καὶ ἡ θυγάτηρ αὐτοῦ Ἀρήτη˙ ἥτις γεννήσασα παῖδα ὠνόμασεν Ἀρίστιππον, ὃς ὑπαχθεὶς ὑπ' αὐτῆς εἰς λόγους φιλοσοφίας μητροδίδακτος ἐκλήθη˙ ὃς καὶ σαφῶς ὡρίσατο τέλος εἶναι τὸ ἡδέως ζῆν, ἡδονὴν ἐντάττων τὴν κατὰ κίνησιν. τρεῖς γὰρ ἔφη καταστάσεις εἶναι περὶ τὴν ἡμετέραν σύγκρασιν˙ μίαν μὲν καθ' ἣν ἀλγοῦμεν, ἐοικυῖαν τῷ κατὰ θάλασσαν χειμῶνι˙ ἑτέραν δὲ καθ' ἣν ἡδόμεθα, τῷ λείῳ κύματι ἀφομοιουμένην, εἶναι γὰρ λείαν κίνησιν τὴν ἡδονήν, οὐρίῳ παραβαλλομένην ἀνέμῳ˙ τὴν δὲ τρίτην μέσην εἶναι κατάστασιν, καθ' ἣν οὔτε ἀλγοῦμεν οὔτε ἡδόμεθα, γαλήνῃ παραπλησίαν οὖσαν. τούτων δὴ καὶ ἔφασκε τῶν παθῶν μόνων ἡμᾶς τὴν αἴσθησιν ἔχειν.

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