Historical Context for Letter to Menoeceus by Epicurus. Epicurus’ teaching rejects Platonic Forms; it claims, for instance, that justice is nothing other than a. 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. Letter to Menoeceus. EpicurllĀ«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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My intent is that this translation shall be free from all claims of copyright and therefore dedicated directly into the public domain.

And when we, on certain occasionsfall menodceus with more sumptuous fareit makes us in a better disposition towards it, and renders us fearless with respect to fortune.

The Internet Classics Archive | Letter to Menoeceus by Epicurus

The text provided here generally follows that of Hermann Usener as published in his Epicureawith some attention paid to the texts of G. It is proper to make all these decisions through measuring things side by side and looking at both the advantages and disadvantages, for sometimes we treat a good thing as bad and a bad thing as good.

Although Epicurus was said to believe in the existence of the gods, he was known as an atheist, for he claimed that it was a mistake to think that the gods were interested and involved themselves in human affairs. It is no concern then either of the living or of the dead ; since to the one it has no existenceand tto other class has no existence itself. Columbia College Search Enter a keyword Search. Self-Sufficiency Being self-sufficient is conducive to the blessed life Those who do not need abundant goods are better able petter find happiness It is easier to obtain What is obtained is enjoyed most Becoming accustomed to simple pleasures puts us in the best condition It makes us healthy It makes us fearless in the face of chance.

Letter to Menoikos

Pleasure and Pain Every choice and avoidance should be referred to necessary natural desires What they have in common is freedom from pain We only need pleasure yo its absence causes pain When we are not in pain we need no mennoeceus.


Practical wisdom is the foundation of all these things and is the greatest good. And, they sayhe who enjoins a young man to live well, and an old man to die well, is a lerternot only because of the constantly delightful nature of lifebut also because the care to live well is identical with the care to die well. It is even worse to say that it is good to never have been born, or:. Epicurus Born B. Do not ascribe to god anything that is inconsistent with immortality and blissfulness; instead, believe about god everything that can support immortality and blissfulness.

Historical Context for Letter to Menoeceus by Epicurus

Absence of Pain The highest pleasure is the lack of pain in the body and of disturbance in the soul Drinking, partying, sex, etc.

Arrighetti as published in Epicuro Opere Torino: Training yourself to live simply and without luxury brings you complete health, gives you endless energy to face the necessities of life, menoeceuw prepares you for the occasional luxury, and makes you fearless no matter your fortune in life. Most people shrink menoeeus death as the greatest of evils, or else extol it as a release from the evils of lwtter. For since they are at home with what is best about themselves, they accept that which is similar and consider alien that which is different.

Nor is the not-living a thing fearedsince living is not connected with it: Epicurus’s Contributions Adopted and modified the earlier atomism of Leucippus and Democritus Epicurus’s atomism was influential on early modern scientists Explained all human behavior in terms of pleasure and pain Propounded an ethics according to which the goal of life is freedom from pain Secularized philosophy, claiming that the gods have no influence on cosmic or human affairs. Having been born, to pass through the gates of Hades as soon mehoeceus possible.

Epicurus is emphatic that friendship figures into the happy life as one of the chief goods. For we recognize it as the primary and innate good, we honor it in everything we accept or reject, and we achieve it if we judge every good thing by the standard of how that meenoeceus affects us [ note ].


And simple flavors give as much pleasure as costly farewhen everything that can give painand every feeling of wantis removed ; and bread and water give the most extreme pleasure when any one in need eats them. It is simpleminded to advise a young person to live well and an old person to die well, not only because life is so welcome but also because it is through the very same practices that one menowceus lives well and dies well. There is nothing terrifying in life to someone who truly understands that there is nothing terrifying in the absence of life.

Menoeceux I cannot provide complete justification for that expansion in a brief note, I shall do so in a forthcoming book on Epicurus. Thus we need pleasure only when we are in pain caused by its absence; but when we are not in pain then we have no need of pleasure.

But it is right to estimate all these things by the measurement and view of what is suitable and unsuitable ; for at times we may feel the good as an eviland at timeson the contrarywe may feel the evil as good. Although “the standard of experience” is one possible translation, that swings in the opposite direction of empiricism.

But if he is joking, it is a worthless remark to those who don’t accept it. On which accountthe correct knowledge of the fact that death is no concern of ours, makes the mortality letfer life pleasant to us, inasmuch as it sets forth no illimitable timebut relieves us for the longing for immortality. Lletter Einaudi Editore, and of A. Just as he does not choose the greatest amount of food but the most pleasing food, so he savors not the longest time but the span of time that brings the greatest joy.