Welcome to Episode 201 of Lucretius Today. This is a podcast dedicated to the poet Lucretius, who wrote "On The Nature of Things," the only complete presentation of Epicurean philosophy left to us from the ancient world. Each week we walk you through the Epicurean texts, and we discuss how Epicurean philosophy can apply to you today. If you find the Epicurean worldview attractive, we invite you to join us in the study of Epicurus at EpicureanFriends.com, where you will find a discussion thread for each of our podcast episodes and many other topics.
This week we continue our discussion of Book Two of Cicero's On Ends, which are largely devoted Cicero's attack on Epicurean Philosophy. "On Ends" contains important criticisms of Epicurus that have set the tone for standard analysis of his philosophy for the last 2000 years. Going through this book gives us the opportunity to review those attacks, take them apart, and respond to them as an ancient Epicurean might have done, and much more fully than Cicero allowed Torquatus, his Epicurean spokesman, to do.
Follow along with us here: Cicero's On Ends - Complete Reid Edition
We are using the Reid edition, so check any typos or other questions against the original PDF which can be found here.
This week we start and move forward from Section IX, which begins:
IX. You must then set pleasure aside, not only if you want to pursue a right course, but if you want it to be seemly for you
to speak the language of honest men. Can we then assert that a thing is for the whole of life the supreme good, though we do not think we can say it is so even for a dinner? Yet how does our philosopher talk? There are three kinds of passions, one natural and necessary, another natural but not necessary, a third neither natural nor necessary. In the first place his subdivision lacks neatness; for he has made what were really two classes into three. ‘ This is not to subdivide, but to rend asunder.