Key Doctrines by A. A. Long and D. N. Sedley

  • Key Doctrines

    A. A. Long and D. N. Sedley

    As the authors mention of Key Doctrine 2, some of the Kuriai Doxai

    are “not in our book” (The Hellenistic Philosophers 156). – Nate

    1. “That which is blessed and imperishable neither suffers nor inflicts trouble, and therefore is affected neither by anger nor by favour. For all such things are marks of weakness.” (140)

    2. Undocumented by Long & Sedley

    3. “The removal of all pain is the limit of the magnitude of pleasures. Wherever pleasure is present, as long as it is there, pain or distress or their combination is absent.” (115)

    4. “Pain does not last continuously in the flesh: when acute it is there for a very short time, while the pain which just exceeds the pleasure in the flesh does not persist for many days; and chronic illnesses contain an excess of pleasure in the flesh over pain.” (115)

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    7. “Certain people wanted to become famous and admired, thinking that they would thus acquire security from other men. Consequently, if such people's life was secure, they did obtain nature's good; but if it was not secure, they are not in possession of the objective which they originally sought after on the basis of nature's affinity.” (126)

    8. ”No pleasure is something bad per se: but the causes of some pleasures produce stresses many times greater than the pleasures” (115)

    9. “If every pleasure were condensed in <location> and duration and distributed all over the structure or the dominant parts of our nature, pleasures would never differ from one another,”

    10. “If the causes of the pleasures of the dissipated released mental fears concerning celestial phenomena and death and distress, and in addition taught the limit of desires, we should never have any reason to reproach them [i.e. the dissipated], since they would be satisfying themselves with pleasures from all directions and would never have pain or distress, which constitutes the bad” (115)

    11. “Were we not upset by the worries that celestial phenomena and death might matter to us, and also by failure to appreciate the limits of pains and desires, we would have no need for natural philosophy.” (155)

    12. “There is no way to dispel the fear about matters of supreme importance, for someone who does not know what the nature of the universe is but retains some of the fears based on mythology. Hence without natural philosophy there is no way of securing the purity of our pleasures.” (155)

    13. “There is no benefit in creating security with respect to men while retaining worries about things up above, things beneath the earth, and generally things in the infinite.” (155)

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    17. “The just <life> is most free from disturbance, but the unjust life is full of the greatest disturbance.” (125)

    18. “The pleasure in the flesh does not increase when once the pain of need has been removed, but it is only varied. And the limit of pleasure in the mind is produced by rationalizing those very things and their congeners which used to present the mind with its greatest fears.” (115)

    19. “Infinite time and finite time contain equal pleasure, if one measures the limits of pleasure by reasoning.” (150)

    20. “The flesh places the limits of pleasure at infinity, and needs an infinite time to bring it about. But the intellect, by making a rational calculation of the end and the limit which govern the flesh, and by dispelling the fears about eternity, brings about the complete life, so that we no longer need the infinite time. But neither does it shun pleasure, nor even when circumstances bring about our departure from life does it suppose, as it perishes, that it has in any way fallen short of the best life.” (150)

    21. “He who knows the limits of life knows how easy it is to obtain that which removes pain caused by want and that which makes the whole of life complete. He therefore has no need for competitive involvements.” (150)

    22. Undocumented by Long & Sedley

    23. “If you fight against all sensations, you will not have a standard against which to judge even those of them you say are mistaken.” (80)

    24. “(1) If you are going to reject any sensation absolutely, and not distinguish opinions reliant on evidence yet awaited from what is already present through sensation, through feelings, and through every focusing of thought into an impression, you will confound all your other sensations with empty opinion and consequently reject the criterion in its entirety. (2) And if you are going to treat as established both all the evidence yet awaited in your conjectural conceptions, and that which has failed to <earn> attestation, you will not exclude falsehood, so that you will have removed all debate and all discrimination between correct and incorrect.” (87)

    25. “If you fail to refer each of your actions on every occasion to nature's end, and stop short at something else in choosing or avoiding, your actions will not be consequential upon your theories.” (116)

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    27. “Of the things wisdom acquires for the blessedness of life as a whole, far the greatest is the possession of friendship.” (126)

    28. “Confidence that nothing terrible lasts for ever or even for a long time is produced by the same judgement that also achieves the insight that friendship's security within those very limitations is perfectly complete.” (126)

    29. “Natural and necessary [desires], according to Epicurus, arc ones which bring relief from pain, such as drinking when thirsty; natural but non- necessary are ones which merely vary pleasure but do not remove pain, such as expensive foods; neither natural nor necessary are ones for things like crowns and erection of statues.” (116)

    30. “Whenever intense passion is present in natural desires which do not lead to pain if they are unfulfilled, these have their origin in empty opinion; and the reason for their persistence is not their own nature but the empty opinion of the

    person.” (115)

    31. “Nature's justice is a guarantee of utility with a view to not harming one another and not being harmed.” (125)

    32. “Nothing is just or unjust in relation to those creatures which were unable to make contracts over not harming one another and not being harmed: so too with all peoples which were unable or unwilling to make contracts over not harming and not being harmed. ” (125)

    33. Justice was never anything per se, but a contract, regularly arising at some place or other in people's dealings with one another, over not harming or being harmed. ” (125)

    34. “Injustice is something bad not per se in the fear that arises from the suspicion that one will not escape the notice of those who have the authority to punish such things.” (125)

    35. “No one who secretly infringes any of the terms of a mutual contract made with a view to not harming and not being harmed can be confident that he will escape detection even if he does so countless times. For right up to his death it is unclear whether he will actually escape.” (125)

    36. “Taken generally, justice is the same for all, since it is something useful in people's social relationships. But in the light of what is peculiar to a region and to the whole range of determinants, the same thing does not turn out to be just for all.” (125)

    37. What is legally deemed to be just has its existence in the domain of justice whenever it is attested to be useful in the requirements of social relationships, whether or not it turns out to be the same for all. But if someone makes a law and it does not happen to accord with the utility of social relationships, it no longer has the nature of justice. And even if what is useful in the sphere of justice changes but fits the preconception for some time, it was no less just throughout that time for those who do not confuse themselves with empty utterances but simply look at the facts.” (125)

    38. Undocumented by Long & Sedley

    39. Undocumented by Long & Sedley

    40. “Those who had the power to eliminate all fear of their neighbours lived together accordingly in the most pleasurable way, through having the firmest pledge of security, and after enjoying the fullest intimacy, they did not grieve over someone's untimely death as if it called for commiseration.” (126)