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  • My comment would be that all of those are largely correct, but that taken together they tend toward conveying a premise of under-shooting the goal of maximizing pleasure. Once you realize that "pleasure" is not limited to any certain type of pleasure (and I think the texts are very clear in that regard) I think it becomes clear that the point is not to focus on some pre-existing category of pleasure (such as luxurious or simple) but to look for what *you* in your own personal experience value th…
  • 1 - yes please let us know if you come up with variations/improvements of the jelly bean jar analogy. I am sure there are much better ones! 2 (Quote from Philia) Absolutely I agree with that, and I think most people at first glance see it that way too. That's "instinctively" the right approach, IMO. In fact I fluctuate on how much I really accept the opposite view myself. In my (admittedly small) mind, the only reason that the "subtractive" model "works" mentally is because you know that there a…
  • Great answers. Only I can think of to add is to ask Marco:. Did you have something else in mind when you asked if there are two types of pleasure? Or was your entire question focused on time (long and short)?
  • Just a note to Godfrey - sorry you couldn't find that Wenham article. The forum software has lots of powerful features that I don't really know how to use. But I note the search function doesn't always cover every section of the software - maybe that happened here. In this case I have tried to highlight the nikolsky and wenham and some other core texts by marking them as "featured" which makes them show up on the home page (if you scroll down far enough) as so: The other article on the K/K issue…
  • (Quote from Philia) Yes that is the tricky part and I do not think that Epicurus would say that that can be presumed. Most generally, I think he would say that that decision has to be made individually by each person and according to life circumstances, and that it will prove to be applicable to some people but not to others (so therefore not a "general" rule). Plus, to be clear, I am not limiting the circumstances to "material well-being." People rank their pleasures in radically different ways…
  • (Quote from Philia) Yes you "could" assume that, but why would you? By definition the short-term pleasure is different from the long-term pleasure in terms of time, so they are not identical. Please don't sense that I am disagreeing, I am simply at this point trying to understand your reasoning. Epicurus may have said that "PD19. Infinite time contains no greater pleasure than limited time, if one measures, by reason, the limits of pleasure." but that is by no means the same as saying that time …
  • (Quote from Don) I agree (at least largely) with that statement of the Cyreniac position, but I don't think I would say the second sentence is accurate. Yes clearly "sustainability" (meaning the time element) is a factor to consider, but there's definitely no way to say flatly across the board that time is ALWAYS the deciding factor or even the MOST IMPORTANT factor. That's clear from the letter to Menoeceus: "And just as with food he does not seek simply the larger share and nothing else, but r…
  • (Quote from Don) Oh my! I don't for a moment dispute your right and proper position in interpreting it that way for yourself. I agree that Epicurus would want you to do that if you believe it best for you! But I would not calculate it that way myself, and I suspect we would have a strong division of opinion on that if we took a poll. I would consider "intensity" or other "qualities" as at least as important as duration in time (persistence). While "truth" is not decided by polling, and it doesn'…
  • (Quote from Don) First, I am going to attempt at least for a while not to "like" too many posts here in this thread, as sometimes the "likes" tend to mean taking sides when "sides" is a bad thing to do. Who knows whether any of us at this point have the "right" interpretation? (We can come back to likes later, though, cause they do help with things over time, for those who are "persistent" in following arguments.) I guess further I need to be sure what we mean by "right" interpretation, which I'…
  • Also: The issues we are discussing now also relate back to the "Net Pleasure Maximization Worksheet" that I put together a couple of years ago. I don't think Don was around then but maybe if he had been I would have taken it further, but I received a lot of argument "against" it on just these grounds: that pleasure can't be quantified scientifically by time or intensity or anything else. I still think that going through the exercise of thinking about categories can be helpful, and I think that w…
  • First of all, I do certainly agree that pleasures being continuous is an important aspect. We want pleasure to be as as maximized as possible throughout our lives, and we can attain that through the mind's understanding that pain is short if intense and manageable if long, and offset pain with recollection of good memories and in many other ways. The ideal, of course, would be to include no prospect of interruption by death, but that's only possible as far as we know to the gods (though we get v…
  • I am not fluent in Tusculun Disputations but it appears I am going to have to go through it again. Trying to do so quickly now, this may be the point DeWitt is describing the need to show that the good man is 'always' happy: further down .... and even further down, where Epicurus is still under attack: And here Cicero argues that the wise man must have his chief good 'in his power': Then we come to this line that is very useful in arguing that Epicurus did not hold "freedom from pain" to be the …
  • Yes, this is an area where everyone especially me would profit from wider participation and comment. Just like with the extensive discussion in Tusculun Disputations, I know personally I do not have a command of all the relevant material, and I could quite easily be missing something significant in some text I have only scanned, or not read at all -- or even in something like Sedley's "Lucretius and the Transformation of Greek Wisdom" which I still haven't read!
  • I am hopeful that everyone who is a regular participant will weigh in, but since I haven't seen them in a while I will tag Bryan and elli to see if they have time to comment. Again, this section of the debate is about how to evaluate persistence or time of pleasure vs intensity or depth of pleasure, and starts around post 24 and those which just precede it: RE: An Epicurean Understanding of Pleasure
  • Oh yes I consider that to be the same question too. I listed the factors that promoted the discussion but that's not to say there are not others factors too.
  • (Quote from Don) That part I think we are all together on, at least here in this forum. There are no "worthy" or "unworthy" pleasures -- all pleasures are pleasing because that is how they affect us. As to the distinction between desire and pleasure, what do you think of this from Torquatus - Reid uses the term "passions": (Quote from Cassius) If Cicero got Torquatus right it appears we are talking cupiditatem but also desiderant: And here is the line-by-line of Meneoceus from Epicurism.info: Pe…
  • (Quote from Godfrey) My initial reaction to splitting the discussion of desires and their results is to be wary of that, because just like virtue, what does it gain anything to talk about desires apart from the results of pursuing those desires? In the end there is nothing given by nature for the decision of what to choose and to avoid other than pleasure and pain. A science of desires separated from their consequences, would be no more helpful or useful than a science of virtue, apart from the …
  • The Unity of Pleasure discussion: .... unfortunately DeWitt goes off into kinetic vs katastematic and doesn't really grapple with our point of whether all pleasures are the same, but: All we really have from DeWitt then is the issue of all pleasures being "good" irrespective of their consequences. So we still have to deal with the question: "Are all pleasures the same in all respects so that we should consider the choice of any pleasure to be equivalent to the choice of any other?"
  • (Quote from Godfrey) Yes of course my feelings exactly, but if we extended the point that pleasures cannot be compared or ranked in any way at all, that would be the reduction to the absurd, so in my mind that proves that this cannot have been Epicurus' meaning. (Quote from Godfrey) Well there I would say that each reference goes in the direction of the purely practical: "What will happen to me if I make this choice?" So rather than "categorizing" which would be definitional logical analysis whi…