Pleasures of the soul, Values, Meaningful Life

  • Hello,


    For the context: I ´ve moved from the stoic camp to the epicurean and I am learning the Epicurean principles.

    In metaphysics and epistemology the Epicurean have in my opionion the better and more realistic approach.

    Now I dive more into the ethics.


    In ethics I wonder if Pleasure involves personal values besides the "pure bodily" pleasures.


    (There is a citation which says: Beside the pleasures of seeing, hearing, tasting, touching... .I would not know any pleasure)

    But I think I get it wrong.


    Where are personal values in the Epicurean pleasure concept if they are there ?

    Because I see virtue as a means to fulfill these values which give me pleasure (maybe thats the answer, a wide interpratation of pleasure ? )


    Beside the pure sense-pleasures, I value for example that:


    -I am not addicted to something/someone

    -value friends/familiy, progress in society,

    -have compassiong for humans and animals

    -love to learn new things and philosophy (like Epicurus), learning about nature, value/ like to improve abilities.


    Are that "pleasures of the soul" ?


    Or are these values part of "virtue" ? That virtue gives pleasure ?

  • Welcome to the Garden, Matteng :)

    I'll try and address a couple of your questions:


    if Pleasure involves personal values besides the "pure bodily" pleasures.

    Pleasure includes both pleasure felt in the body and pleasure felt in the mind, although that's a little misleading in that all pleasure in some sense is both in the mind and body. We need both a body and mind too experience pleasure.

    I see virtue as a means to fulfill these values which give me pleasure (maybe thats the answer, a wide interpratation of pleasure ? )

    The virtues (ex. justice, morality, courage, etc.) are *only* means to leading a pleasurable life. They have no value - other than that - in and off themselves. There is no such thing as "virtue for virtue's sake" in Epicurus's philosophy. The virtues do not fulfill any other purpose than as a means to a pleasurable life.

    -I am not addicted to something/someone

    -value friends/familiy, progress in society,

    -have compassiong for humans and animals

    -love to learn new things and philosophy (like Epicurus), learning about nature, value/ like to improve abilities

    If those activities provide you a sense of pleasure, that's one track then. Preface each of them with "I take pleasure in..." and see how that sounds to you.


    I'll stop there and see what others may add.

  • I agree with Don, and I think you are completely on the right track, and it is maddening that the major philosophies have made this question the slightest bit difficult.


    In ethics I wonder if Pleasure involves personal values besides the "pure bodily" pleasures

    Absolutely yes. Do those actions you describe being you pleasure in performing them or even thinking about them? Then absolutely yes, to you they are pleasures. Epicurus says (per Torquatus) that the pleasures of the mind can be and are often more significant than those purely of the body (but remember Don's caveat, without the body you are nothing,so all pleasures are in that sense "of the body")

    (maybe thats the answer, a wide interpratation of pleasure ? )

    Yes! And the interpretation is as wide as can be imagined. If something brings you a feeling OF ANY KIND then the feeling is ultimately pleasurable or painful. All human mental and physical activities fall in one of these two categories, no matter how much the abstractionists want to protest that their virtues are higher than pleasure.

    Are that "pleasures of the soul" ?

    I would definitely say yes. The point to keep in mind is that there is no supernatural soul, so everything "mental" is of the soul, or spiritual, or intellectual, or whatever you choose to label that mental functioning of the body.



    And glad to have you posting! These are common questions lots of people have and always good to talk about them!

  • If something brings you a feeling OF ANY KIND then the feeling is ultimately pleasurable or painful. All human mental and physical activities fall in one of these two categories, no matter how much the abstractionists want to protest that their virtues are higher than pleasure.

    Good questions Matteng. And both Don and Cassius, I am enjoying reading your replies, and I'd like to throw in this into the mix:


    From the Letter to Menoeceus:

    "Third, keep in mind that 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], and some for life itself."


    To illustrate what is unnecessary: This morning I was offered a chocolate covered cream filled donut (because my sister bought an entire box yesterday). Yet I have been slowly gaining weight (and I do not want to go out an buy new bigger pants). So I am choosing to reduce my sugar intake. I acknowledged my desire when I said "yes, those do look good" and then, acknowledged the recognition that the donut was unnecessary when I said: "but no thank you" as I had already in mind to choose to eat unsweetened oatmeal with some strawberries. I made this choice for the sake of physical health. Good health is both a pleasure and a value.


    What is unnecessary is that which is either not needed for long-term enjoyment/happiness and/or that which brings pain as a long-term result.


    It up to each person to make wise choices about what for themselves is "necessary vs unnecessary" and we might each make different choices depending on our circumstances. There are some PDs which do point out important pleasures, such as PD27 --"Of all the things that wisdom provides for the complete happiness of one's entire life, by far the greatest is friendship."


    And I would say friendship is both a pleasure and a value. It brings both physical and mental joy. And Letter to Menoeceus ends with: "So practice these and similar things day and night, by yourself and with a like-minded friend..."

  • Thank you for your responses.


    It´s a pleasure to find a active forum like this :)


    I think this point of values in Epicurean philosophy should be emphasized.


    Because the prejudice in stoic communities goes like this:


    Stoic: Hero who embraces every problem / challenge.


    Epicurean: avoiding pain like a weak coward.


    In reality the Epicurean decides what engagement is worth it and takes the emotions as short/fast information and the stoics often devalue and detach from thinks that they have no impact on them.


    Yes when I value nothing in life, then I have no fear/grief to lose something and desire nothing, but then I've already lost everything and am like a dead machine.


    I know that this could even be an prejudice against the stoic philosophy because with "indifferent" they mean moral indifference but it´s a probability/tendency for devaluation.

    See Epictetus doctrine of "no grief for a lost son".

    But ok this doctrine was a summary from one of his pupil and has maybe another meaning like (giving back to fate/nature).

    Or like in Christianity when someone was lost, he/she is in "heaven" or a "better place". But that would imply other things (why then not going direct to the "better place".)

  • I agree again with you post Matteng, especially as to the practical effect of Stoicism. The ancient Stoics were more consistent in detaching themselves to the point of a death-like state, and although the modern Stoics try to separate themselves from that, they can't successfully do it, and thus among the modern Stoics there is this uneasily feeling - whether acknowledged or not - that there is something wrong at the root of their philosophy.


    Stoic: Hero who embraces every problem / challenge.


    Epicurean: avoiding pain like a weak coward.

    And indeed as you would expect I think the descriptions are very accurate, but the labels are reversed! It is Epicurus who was the great conqueror of fear and the biggest challenges of them all, "and by his victory we reach the stars."


    Space exploration, in fact, is for Epicureans, who seek pleasure from knowledge and new frontiers. Consistent Stoics would rather sit home and contemplate why the universe does not conform to their own preconceived notions of "virtue."

  • Yes I think Don's answer applies in most cases in the last comment. But I am not sure it is a good idea for us to take the "everyone pursues pleasure whether they admit it or not" too far. Some people do seem to choose pain for the sake of pain, under the influence of warped thinking. EG - "I am a worm and I deserved to be squashed by God.".


    I suppose you can reduce that to "It gives him pleasure to think that" but in some cases it seems to me we would be straining too hard to argue that point.


    In the end humans have some degree of intelligence and the free will to use it, so I think it's best at some point in some extreme cases to just let them wallow in their stupidity and agree with them:. "Yes sir I accept that you are serious about your framework. You are a bug in the sight of your lord and you deserve to be squashed. Go to it sir but please leave me out of it!"

  • Yes I think Don's answer applies in most cases in the last comment. But I am not sure it is a good idea for us to take the "everyone pursues pleasure whether they admit it or not" too far. Some people do seem to choose pain for the sake of pain, under the influence of warped thinking. EG - "I am a worm and I deserved to be squashed by God.".

    Not sure about the "worm deserving to be squashed" -- that sounds like someone who feels "guilty for their sins", which in my book is whole other issue coming out of Christianity.


    There is the saying: "No pain, no gain":

    From Wikipedia:

    "No pain, no gain (or "No gain without pain") is a proverb, used since the 1980s as an exercise motto that promises greater value rewards for the price of hard and even painful work. Under this conception competitive professionals, such as athletes and artists, are required to endure pain (physical suffering) and stress (mental/emotional suffering) to achieve professional excellence. Medical experts agree that the proverb is wrong for exercise."


    And then from a mental side: "no growth without pain" and the belief that achieving success requires pain. This could occassionally be true. But what kind of success is this for anyway? "cutthroat marketing" or generating the highest profits, not for pleasure but for big money.


    And this is all about an either/or -- either pleasure or pain -- which is incorrect because it leaves out the option of engaging in pleasureable exercise -- or pleasureable work which isn't focused on hugh profit.

  • Hey Matteng


    Just my two cents with what I wish I had learned earlier in my journey into Epicurean Philosophy, in which I'm still a beginner:


    1.- There is a hedonic calculus, hedonistic calculus, hedonistic calculation, whatever you want to call it, that you can see as actually excercising your free will and choosing pleasures now instead of later, or pains now for pleasure later; you'll be doing this, consiously or unconsciously once you recognize that pleasure is the end/goal of our beings; this last sentence is key, and was the hardest part for me to see, as I put many filters from other philosophies before it, before realizing how simple it is; I find Epicirus philosophy is quite simple, regardless of how complicated it may seem, or may be made to seem. Incidentally, this hedonistic calculus, in my interpertation, is the swerve in action. The little tiny place where we at every moment can excercise free will, in a universe that is otherwise highly deterministic (I'm not say everything is deteremined, but Epicurus himself recognized that the atoms behave "mechanically", but for the little tiny swerve).


    2. For the nature of the soul, and understanding how everything comes down to the body as it's been said before in this thread, and to arm yourself a bit better against superstition and mirages usually proposed by religious organizations, look for Thomas Cooper. There's this post about him: Thomas Cooper MD


    3. Understanding the natural limit of pleasure. This is for the sake of dispelling any concerns or stresses or pains you may encounter about having to EXPERIENCE THE MOST PLEASURABLE LIFE ALL THE TIME, and producing pain for yourself by creating tension against the moments where the deterministic part of our existence will put us in painful positions that we will have to endure regardless; this mis understanding can put us in a track farther away from pleasure, because we would not be actually seeking pleasure, but an ideal thus non-existing accumulation of pleasure. The natural limit of pleasure is the elmination of pain, and this is important because of the following (that I can see at least but, again, I'm a beginner):


    A.When in doubt, focus on eliminating pains, this IS OK, and it's the first type of pleasure. When you eliminate pain, you ARE EXPERIENCING PLEASURE. For most of us, our senses have been attuned to not even sense this, because of how good things are that we're able to spend time philosophizing in the internet. But this is the first pleasure available, and we can use reason to realize it. As I understand it, this is the katastematic pleasure of Epicurus, the one that "only those who are willing will exerience", and the one that offended Cicero as he didn't think there were things humbler people could learn that he couldn't, but then again, he didn't seem to want to.

    B. After eliminating pain, all pleasures beyond this limit, are embellishments. Embellishment pleasures are great! Try to experience as most as you can (carefully calculating not to produce more pain for you down the line). Let these guide your life if you want even, but keep in mind the following point.

    C. The limit of pleasure has been met. All of these embellishments don't add up more pleasure to your life. You won't experience them after you're dead, and you certainly won't take any memories of them to an afterlife. The maximum natural quanitity of pleasure has been obtained when you eliminated all the pain, so if you want to stay at that, IT'S OK! If you want to go for more embellishments, IT'S OK! Just be weary of the slippery slope of wanting more of something that won't add more pleasure and may become a source of much pain.


    I post this with modesty.

  • Incidentally, this hedonistic calculus, in my interpertation, is the swerve in action.

    Yes IMHO you are doing a good job of describing it. The only real problem with the term "hedonistic" calculus is that it's not a label the Epicureans accepted or used, so far as I can tell, and the term is today more associated with a Cyreniac "pleasure of the moment" attitude. When you're debating a term like "hedonistic calculus" that isn't originated or trademarked by Epicurus it's easy to get confused. Epicurus taught a full "worldview" philosophy and the real secret of Epicurean philosophy is not so much stacking up pleasures against pain, which most anyone can do to some degree, but gaining an understanding of the universe that allows you to "intelligently" stack up those pleasures against those pains, and more accurately and succesfully obtain a better result in the process.

    A.When in doubt, focus on eliminating pains, this IS OK, and it's the first type of pleasure

    I suspect that it is literally true that in most cases when you don't know what to do next, jumping out of the frying pan without worrying too much about the direction you're jumping is a good idea.


    But along with the comment above, the real heart of Epicurean philosophy comes from understanding the full situation you as a human are in through applied physics and epistemology and ethics. Maybe as reflected in the first part of your sentence, when you have grasped such a worldview you have significantly decreased the range of "doubts" that you should be experiencing, and you should have a much better idea of how to proceed toward pleasure. If you DON'T do that, then you will be as Epicurus describes - you will have studed and observed phenomena but not understood anything, and in fact you might even be in a worse position than before, because now you have 100s more questions but no scheme of understanding through which to approach them.


    And as Epirucus himself says, sometimes you WILL choose pains, as you indicated Camotero, so you must have an understanding of where you are in order to decide whether a particular pain SHOULD be eliminated immediately, and how. The Frying pan might be hot, but if that frying pan is suspending you over the grand canyon you might be well advised to stay in the frying pan til you've figured out a way to arrange a soft landing.


    Not trying to be nit-picky here but I hope you see the general point is the big one you've done a good job of addressing in your post. The quantity of absence of pain may equal pleasure quantitatively, but qualitatively and contextually things are always unique and nothing is ever fully at rest, and PLEASURE is the word that Epicurus always comes back to as the guide. So when possible, even when confronting pains, it might often be a better course to "wait" and gain a better understanding of the full picture before blindly attacking the pains of the moment without an overall strategy.

  • the term is today more associated with a Cyreniac "pleasure of the moment" attitude.

    The phrase itself is inextricable linked to Bentham and Utilitarianism. While Cassius is correct that neither Epicurus nor the Epicureans used the specific phrase "hedonic calculus," he did - all the time - use "choice and rejection" αἵρεσιν καὶ φυγὴν. So, in some ways, one is always weighing pain and pleasure and choosing and rejecting. That is, generally speaking, a kind of "calculus." Just don't get overly hung up on the term ;)


    The Frying pan might be hot, but if that frying pan is suspending you over the grand canyon you might be well advised to stay in the frying pan til you've figured out a way to arrange a soft landing.

    ^^ Good wordsmithing there. Vivid metaphor :thumbup:


    I think you're generally on the right track, camotero . Thanks for sharing this.

  • Although I am a beginner, I dare to bring up a practical example from Peter Adamson's History of Philosophy:
    "An Epicurian takes a plane and is offered a seat in Business Class, although he has an Economy ticket. He will accept it as there is no pain in exchange, because it is more pleasant to travel in Business Class, like more space and better food. He could think that next time he has to travel in Economy Class he might desire to be in Business, but as a good Epicurian he can deal with that, as it is not a necessity."

    Peter Adamson use the term ascetic hedonism for Epicurism. What do you think of that?

  • Matteng, what I also like about Epicurism is that it seems to take also animals in consideration (and better informed people will help me with this), and that animals also seek pleasure, apart that it considers all humans equal (which is revolutionary in Antiquity). Animals are not like most salon biologists put it trying to be the fitest in the evolutionary race, but they have in general very humanlike emotions and behaviours, and play and enjoy (when there is space for that). This is not wishful thinking but has been demonstrated in studies with apes and monkeys and everybody can enjoy the joy of animals around him (see e.g. numerous studies of Frans De Waal, Jane Goodall, etc.). I think that from an ethological point of view, and I consider humans and other animals equals in this, the idea that the search for pleasure and avoidance of pain is the universal motor of animal behaviour is really a very valuable one. And I think that this is not yet appreciated enough. :)

  • Peter Adamson use the term ascetic hedonism for Epicurism. What do you think of that?

    I think that label and also the example are clearly *not* what Epicurus taught.


    The example makes clear (at least as you have stated it) that he would accept the business class ticket only if there is " no pain in exchange" with the emphasis there on the "no" for our purposes of discussion.


    While there are definitely statements which can be taken out of context would result in that 'ascetic' viewpoint, in my view if you take all the texts as a whole that a very different conclusion is compelled. To the contrary of asceticism, the goal is pleasure as that term is ordinarily understood, in which joy and delight and "active" pleasures are among the most enjoyable (what is most pleasant to a person is personal and contextual), and as a result we willingly embrace pain on a regular basis in exchange for pleasures that we deem to be much greater than the pains we incur as the cost of those pleasures.


    Letter to Menoeceus:


    "And just as with food he does not seek simply the larger share and nothing else, but rather the most pleasant, so he seeks to enjoy not the longest period of time, but the most pleasant.


    ...


    And since pleasure is the first good and natural to us, for this very reason we do not choose every pleasure, but sometimes we pass over many pleasures, when greater discomfort accrues to us as the result of them: and similarly we think many pains better than pleasures, since a greater pleasure comes to us when we have endured pains for a long time. Every pleasure then because of its natural kinship to us is good, yet not every pleasure is to be chosen: even as every pain also is an evil, yet not all are always of a nature to be avoided. Yet by a scale of comparison and by the consideration of advantages and disadvantages we must form our judgment on all these matters. For the good on certain occasions we treat as bad, and conversely the bad as good.


    Although the same statement is not made in the PD's explicitly, we have PD08, which states the first part, and by implication the converse is also true and could be stated - "no pain is an evil thing in itself, but some pains bring with them pleasures many times greater than the pains."


    PD08. No pleasure is a bad thing in itself; but the means which produce some pleasures bring with them disturbances many times greater than the pleasures.


    And very clearly in Torquatus (On Ends):


    Nor again is there any one who loves or pursues or wishes to win pain on its own account, merely because it is pain, but rather because circumstances sometimes occur which compel him to seek some great pleasure at the cost of exertion and pain.



    So based on these and many other statements that can be retrieved from the texts there is no reason whatsoever to take the position that "ALL PAINS ARE TO BE AVOIDED ALL THE TIME" which is the logical implication of any form of "Ascetic" approach to Epicurus.


    Avoidance of all pain as the goal of life is simply not what Epicurus taught. He taught the pursuit of pleasure as the goal of human life, which entails the expected and even at times desirable acceptance of pain for purposes of achieving pleasure.


    One last cite:


    Usener 423: “That which produces a jubilation unsurpassed is the nature of good, if you apply your mind rightly and then stand firm and do not stroll about {a jibe at the Peripatetics}, prating meaninglessly about the good.”

  • @Casius, I think my plane example needs a bit more explanation. First of all my rendering maybe a bit confusing, but I don't see this problem. When they offer you an upgrade in this situation, there is only pleasure, and no pain. So for an Epicurean this is great. Nobody is saying that you have to avoid by all means pain.

    On the other side, I is clear to me that Epicurus warns against indulgence. He doesn't need champagne, he is happy with water and seems to recommend a frugal life.

    Diogenes Laertius:


    "Epicurus himself says in his letters that he was content with nothing but water and a bit of bread.


    ‘Send me,’ he says, ‘some preserved cheese, that when I like I may have a feast.’ Such was the man who taught that the end is pleasure."

    Also here in the same text:

    "Sexual intercourse, they say, has never done a man good, and he is lucky if it has not harmed him. Moreover, the wise man will marry and have children, as Epicurus says in the Problems and in the work On Nature. But he will marry according to the circumstances of his life. He will feel shame in the presence of some persons, and certainly will not insult them in his cups, so Epicurus says in the Symposium. Nor will he take part in public life, as he says in the first book On Lives. Nor will he act the tyrant, or live like the Cynics, as he writes in the second book On Lives. Nor will he beg. Moreover, even if he is deprived of his eyesight, he will not end his whole life, as he says in the same work."

    So, I imagine me Epicurus as a modest man seeking most pleasure in very natural simple things and not as a big spender with big needs. From there to "ascetic" is not that far away, I think.

    In defence of Peter Adamsom, I have to say that he places Epicurus in a historic context, where hedonism was seen a coward-ism, and had a very negative press, and he want to stress the frugality and not seeking immediate pleasure but stable pleasure (moving pleasure vs stable pleasure) in contrast with the Cyrenaics, who seek immediate pleasure. Epicurus has been commonly misunderstood as an advocate of the rampant pursuit of pleasure, he, in fact, maintained that a person can only be happy and free from suffering by living wisely, soberly, and morally.

    So this justify the use of "ascetic" (pleasure), I understand. ;)

  • Nobody is saying that you have to avoid by all means pain.

    Beasain I am glad to see that *you* are not saying that, but in my reading of many people over a good number of years of studying Epicurus, I observe that there are many people who in fact DO say that. And to take the example you gave as literally written, "no pain" means "no pain." I don't mean to sound overly technical here as to the meaning of words, but it is exactly this issue which is in dispute. There are those, and this is entailed in the word "ascetic" who do in fact hold out "absence of pain" as a complete and full description of the highest good.


    You'll recall that is exactly what Hieronymus of Rhodes advocated, and I see it in the wording of many commentators even today.



    From there to "ascetic" is not that far away, I think.

    I think if we are being precise in or wording, "ascetic" is as far away from "Epicurean" as North is from South, or East from West.


    I realize that playing with definitions is largely a word game, and the the subtleties of meaning vary widely and can be interpreted differently very easily by many people.


    But I also think that it is possible to "generalize" about about what a word means to "most people," and that in common discussion words carry meaning that is not strictly technical in philosophical discourse.


    And EpicureanFriends is not targeted at professional academic philosophers, but "regular people." And I think it is fair to say that the "regular people" who we generally come into contact with interpret the word 'ascetic' to mean something that is incompatible with pursuit of any kind of mental or physical pleasure.


    If we redefine "ascetic" to mean some kind of generic "rigorousness" in applying the calculation of "always pursuing the greatest pleasure as the ultimate goal" then that word would be fine. But virtually no one interprets it that way.


    Cambridge Dictionary:

    ascetic
    adjective us
    /əˈset̬.ɪk/ uk
    /əˈset.ɪk/


    avoiding physical pleasures and living a simple life, often for religious reasons: They live a very ascetic life.



    Definition of ascetic

    1 : practicing strict self-denial as a measure of personal and especially spiritual discipline an ascetic monk an ascetic diet 2 : austere in appearance, manner, or attitude


    ascetic

    [ uh-set-ik ]

    See synonyms for: ascetic / ascetics on Thesaurus.com

    noun
    a person who dedicates his or her life to a pursuit of contemplative ideals and practices extreme self-denial or self-mortification for religious reasons.
    a person who leads an austerely simple life, especially one who abstains from the normal pleasures of life or denies himself or herself material satisfaction.
    (in the early Christian church) a monk; hermit.
    adjective Also as·cet·i·cal. relating to asceticism, the doctrine that one can reach a high spiritual state through the practice of extreme self-denial or self-mortification.
    rigorously abstinent; austere: an ascetic existence.
    exceedingly strict or severe in religious exercises or self-mortification.




    So again Beasain let me repeat that I am not aiming this dispute at you personally. I think your interpretation you are stating is very compatible with what I read Epicurus as saying.


    But for purposes of keeping the overall situation always in view, I think we need to recognize that considering Epicurean views to be related to ascetic views or practices in any way is a very dangerous thing to do, maybe not for the person (like yourself) who keeps the distinction firmly in view, but because in dealing with others we can never be sure that they will understand that subtlety.


    That's why I take every opportunity like this to hit home the point. You yourself probably don't need it, but I wager that the majority of casual browsers who come across this discussion and read it need to be reminded of it (or, sadly, have it pointed out to them for the first time!)

  • I always enjoy discussing this issue because I think it is so important.


    I find that there are basically two camps:


    Camp One - People who focus on the "absence of pain" passages and conclude that "avoid all pain to the extent possible" is the supreme guide of Epicurean philosophy, without regard to the pleasure that is thereby forgone.


    Camp Two:. People who focus on "pleasure" as that term is ordinarily understood, embracing all forms of mental and physical enjoyment, and who conclude that the correct statement of the primary guide is that pleasure is the focus and is to be pursued so long as we ourselves deem the resulting feeling of pleasure to be worth the cost in pain needed to obtain it.


    Everyone has different tolerances for pain, and different valuations of pleasure, so it's really impossible to make the generic statement of Camp Two more precise than that. There is no absolute set of pleasures always to pursue or pains always to avoid.


    The error of camp one, in my view, arises from attempting to conclude that all pain is so intolerable that it must be avoided at all costs.


    I wish camp one was a straw man and that no one seriously advocates for that, but we are talking philosophy here and we need to be as precise and clear as possible with our formulations.


    Camp One is the short path to Stoicism and Buddhism IMHO and is therefore to be avoided at all cost. Camp One is sustainable in Epicurean terms only by ignoring large parts of the surviving texts. The Camp Two position can explain and apply ALL the texts appropriately, but the Camp One position cannot be reconciled with the many explicit endorsements of choosing pain at times for the sake of pleasure. Camp One attempts to rely on "ataraxia" as the "greatest pleasure," to support it's position, but that too (IMHO) cannot stand the test of scrutiny when compared against the full system. Ataraxia can easily be incorporated into Camp Two's big picture, but Camp Two cannot embrace Pleasure without stretching reasonable constructions of definitions beyond the breaking point.