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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History of Western Philosophy.

Discussion summary on : Epicurus Letter to Menoeceus – Philosophy course site

It is not an unbroken succession of drinking-bouts and of revelry, not sexual lust, not the enjoyment of the fish and other delicacies of a luxurious table, which produce a pleasant life; it is sober reasoning, searching out the grounds of every choice and avoidance, and banishing those beliefs through which the greatest tumults take possession of the soul. It is, however, by measuring one against another, and by looking at the conveniences and inconveniences, teat all these matters must be judged.

Someone who says that the time to love and practice wisdom has not yet come or has passed is like someone who says that the time for happiness has not yet come or has passed.

It is nothing to those who live since to them it does not exist and it is nothing to those who have died since they no longer exist.

Those things which without ceasing I have epicurys unto you, do them, and exercise yourself in them, holding them to be the elements of right life.

It is, however, by measuring one against another, and by looking at the conveniences and inconveniences, that all these matters must be judged. First epicutus that God is a living being immortal and blessed, according to mfnoeceus notion of a god indicated by the common sense of mankind; and so believing, you shall not affirm of him anything that is foreign to his immortality or that is repugnant to his blessedness.

For this reason prudence is a more precious thing even than the other virtues, for ad a life of pleasure which is not also a life of prudence, honor, and justice; nor lead a life of prudence, honor, and justice, which is not menoecus a life of pleasure.


Sometimes we treat the good as an evil, and the evil, on the contrary, as a good. For the utterances of menodceus 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 men like themselves, menoeceeus reject as alien whatever is not of their kind.

It is easily done, if he has truly decided.

Letter to Menoeceus

Daniel McLoughlin – – Angelaki 20 4: Only a fool says that he fears death because it causes pain ahead of time, not because it will cause pain when it comes. Who, then, is superior in your judgment to such a person? The Greek text is in the public domain.

Reece – – Journal of Business Ethics 8 7: 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.

Letter to Menoikos, by Epicurus

So death, the most terrifying of evils, is nothing to us, because as long as we exist death is not present, whereas when death is present we do not exist. 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. Sometimes we treat the good as an evil, and the evil, on the contrary, as leter good.

Find it on Scholar. For he holds that we are responsible for what we achieve, even though some things happen by necessity, some by chance, and some by our own power, because although necessity is not accountable he sees that chance is unstable whereas the things that are within our power have no other master, so that naturally praise and blame are inseparably connected to them. Giulio Einaudi Editore, and of A. By pleasure we mean the absence of pain in the body and of trouble in the soul.

Third, epixurus in mind epjcurus some desires are natural whereas others are groundless [ note ]; that among the natural desires some are natural and necessary whereas others are merely natural; and that among the necessary desires some are necessary for happiness, some for physical health [ note emnoeceus, and some for life itself. Where is the Harm in Dying Prematurely?

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Although “the standard of experience” is one possible translation, that swings in the opposite direction of empiricism. 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. When we are pained pleasure, then, and then only, do we feel the need of pleasure.

Therefore wisdom is a more precious thing even than philosophy ; from it spring all the other virtues, for it teaches that we cannot live pleasantly without living wisely, honorably, and justly; nor live wisely, honorably, and justly without living pleasantly. Then, is the definition of necessary and necessary unique to each person?

Letter to Menoikos

And often we consider pains superior to pleasures when submission to the pains for a long time brings us as a consequence lefter greater pleasure. The things that most people say about the gods are based on false assumptions, not a firm grasp of the facts [ note ], because they say that the greatest goods and the greatest harms come from the gods. HOWEVER, copyright law varies in other countries, and the work may still be under copyright in the country from which you are accessing this website.

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 ,enoeceus.

And since pleasure is our first and native good, for that reason we do not choose every pleasure whatever, but often pass over many pleasures when a greater annoyance ensues from them.

I lean toward the former interpretation. We said that clothing would not be necessary if a shelter was well built, or if you lived in a warm climate.