Cicero's "Torquatus," from On Ends, Book 1. [54 - Rackham] "If then even the glory of the Virtues, on which all the other philosophers love to expatiate so eloquently, has in the last resort no meaning unless it be based on pleasure, whereas pleasure is the only thing that is intrinsically attractive and alluring, it cannot be doubted that pleasure is the one supreme and final Good and that a life of happiness is nothing else than a life of pleasure."
Diogenes of Oinoanda Fr. 32... [the latter] being as malicious as the former.I shall discuss folly shortly, the virtues and pleasure now.If, gentlemen, the point at issue between these people and us involved inquiry into «what is the means of happiness?» and they wanted to say «the virtues» (which would actually be true), it would be unnecessary to take any other step than to agree with them about this, without more ado. But since, as I say, the issue is not «what is the means of happiness?» but «what is happiness and what is the ultimate goal of our nature?», I say both now and always, shouting out loudly to all Greeks and non-Greeks, that pleasure is the end of the best mode of life, while the virtues, which are inopportunely messed about by these people (being transferred from the place of the means to that of the end), are in no way an end, but the means to the end.
Today I rotated the first of these two quotes to the top of the home page because I regularly come back to it as one of the most clear statements of "Pleasure" as the Epicurean goal of life.
Although I value these for their clarity, it seems to me that reading them compels an obvious followup question as to "which pleasures" (I'll presume for a moment that we take for granted that we accept pleasure as a feeling, and that this feeling is given to us directly by nature without need or possibility of a simple single definition).
It always seems to me that the immediate and necessary answer to that question involves explaining that "Pleasure" is a sweeping concept which includes everything we feel to be pleasurable in life, which includes every instance of mental and physical pleasurable experience. Maybe one of the most important points to clarify here is that we don't mean just immediate physical or even mental "stimulation," but also any other way we would like to define our physical or mental consciousness of an experience that we find pleasurable rather than painful.
All that introduction is to introduce this question: What "authoritative" textual references do people think it makes sense to cite to establish that when Epicurus spoke of Pleasure he was speaking in sweeping terms of ALL pleasurable experiences, mental and physical?
The first that I always remember is where Diogenes Laertius says at 34: "The internal sensations they say are two, pleasure and pain, which occur to every living creature, and the one is akin to nature and the other alien: by means of these two choice and avoidance are determined." To me, I think that sentence makes a direct case that "if you feel it, it is either pleasure or pain" and from that it is easy to extrapolate "if you feel it..." to "if you feel anything."
But are there other good references that say something similar that can be used to buttress this point that when Epicurus was talking about "pleasure" he was referring to a sweeping set of mental and physical experiences and not just to ones which are caricatured as sex and drinking and fine food?
Lets list in this thread the best passages usable for this point. In talking to people new to Epicurus, I would think that this is one of the first and most important points to establish.