Fundamental Articles by William Wallace

  • Fundamental Articles

    William Wallace

    As presented in Epicureanism (1880)

    1. “The blessed and incorruptible has no toil or trouble of its own, and causes none to others. It is not subject either to anger or favour.” (110)

    2. “Death is nothing to us. That into which dissolution brings us has no feeling or consciousness, and what has no consciousness is nothing to us. (110)

    3. Undocumented by Wallace

    4. Undocumented by Wallace

    5. “It is impossible to live pleasantly without living wisely,and well, and justly, and it is impossible to live wisely and well, and justly, without living pleasantly.” (155)

    6. Undocumented by Wallace

    7. “It was not because sovereignty and dominion were intrinsically good that men sought for fame and glory in society, but in order to fence themselves round from their men.” (158)

    8. “No pleasure is evil in itself, but the objects productive of certain pleasures may lead to annoyances many times greater than the pleasure.” (150)

    9. Undocumented by Wallace

    10. Undocumented by Wallace

    11. Undocumented by Wallace

    12. Undocumented by Wallace

    13. Undocumented by Wallace

    14. When safety on the side of man has been tolerably secured, it is by quiet and by withdrawing from the multitude that the most complete tranquility is to be found.” (163)

    15. “Riches, according to nature, are of limited extent, and can easily be procured; but the wealth craved after by vain fancies knows neither end nor limit.” (146)

    16. Undocumented by Wallace

    17. Undocumented by Wallace

    18. “When once the pain arising from deficiency has been removed,the pleasure in the flesh admits of no further augmentation, but only of variation: and similarly the limit of the pleasure of the mind is reached, when the causes of our principal mental fears have been removed.” (144)

    19. Undocumented by Wallace

    20. “[T]he flesh takes the limits of pleasure to be endless,and an endless time would be needed to provide it; but the mind, having learned the limit and the end of the flesh, and having cast away fears about the distant future, has made for us life perfect and adequate, and we no longer need infinite time. And yet it has not been an exile from pleasure,and when the time comes to depart from life, it closes with no sense of having fallen short of felicity .” (149)

    21. “He who has understood the limits of life, knows how easy to get is all that takes away the pain of want, and all that is required to make our life perfect at every point. In this way he has no need of anything which implies a contest.” (146-147)

    22. Undocumented by Wallace

    23. Undocumented by Wallace

    24. Undocumented by Wallace

    25. Undocumented by Wallace

    26. Undocumented by Wallace

    27. Undocumented by Wallace

    28. Undocumented by Wallace

    29. Undocumented by Wallace

    30. Undocumented by Wallace

    31. “Natural Justice is a contract of expedience, so as to prevent on man doing harm to another.” (162)

    32. “Those animals which were incapable of forming an agreement to end that they neither might injure nor be injured are without either justice or injustice. Similarly, those tribes which could not or would not form a covenant to the same end are in a like predicament.” (162)

    33. “There is no such thing as an intrinsic or abstract justice” (162)

    34.“Injustice is not in itself a bad thing: but only in the fear arising from anxiety on the part of the wrong-doer that he will not always escape punishment.” (162)

    35. Undocumented by Wallace

    36. Undocumented by Wallace

    37. Undocumented by Wallace

    38. Undocumented by Wallace

    39. Undocumented by Wallace

    40. Undocumented by Wallace

  • Thank you. What is this Nate?

    These are translations of the Kuriai Doxai taken from William Wallace's book Epicureanism (1880). Like De Witt, he cites a number of them based on his personal translations from available sources, but in no particular order. He usually refers to the Doxai as "the Articles", but also uses "catechism" as a synonym (which I found to be really interesting).

  • Ok Matt's comment was in the back of my mind. It's more fun here to talk than just go to Wikipedia. So this IS or IS not that same person that Matt refers to? I have a feeling the dates don't quite match up :)

  • Ah - this from Don's link is probably helpful in understanding Wallace's perspective. If this is true that he was an Idealist, Wallace can't have ultimately been very interested in interpreting Epicurus sympathetically:


    Wallace had wide intellectual sympathies and found matter of agreement with philosophers of different schools; but all, in his hands, led towards a central idealism. His work consisted in pointing out the various avenues of approach to the temple of idealism, rather than in unveiling its mysteries.

    (my underlining added)

    Just in case that page goes away here's a clip: