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  • When-Only-The-Best-Is-Good-Enough.jpg Gaius Florius Lupus asked in a related thread: "The idea that there is no positive pleasure beyond the avoidance of pain always was what bothered me most about Epicurus' ethics, because it would lead to apathy. Do you have a quote where he specifies the kind of pleasure beyond absence of pain we should seek to attain? I only know quotes where he warns us of "unnatural desires" Because this issue is so important I wanted to respond in a separate thread. Anot…
  • Gaius: Thank you for the detailed answer. I did not expect the issue to be so complex. So can we summarize it as"posirive pleasure" beyond the zero state of absence of pain is the simple joy of experiencing life? E.g. a dinner with friends, watching a sunset, a pleasant conversation, celebrating Christmas/Saturnalia etc.? Since existence requires the fulfillment of simple desires, eating drinking etc., their satisfaction is already pleasureable. So in absence of pain it is a constant feeling of…
  • Theo: "I don't think that life with absence of pain is possible. maybe fleeting pain-less moments. especially since Epicurus includes all kinds of possible pains as to be avoided. the quest for pleasure should be constant.Cyrenaics are not the real but the original hedonists. I like' em cause they are more into fun." Cassius Amicus: As to Theo's "I don't think that life with absence of pain is possible. maybe fleeting pain-less moments. especially since Epicurus includes all kinds of possible p…
  • GF: If we understand hunger as a form of pain, then there will necessarily be a state of hunger/pain between two meals. And the regular satisfaction of this need gives pleasure. We can never be constantly satisfied in all our physical needs. We are always oscillating between needs and their satisfaction. The smaller these oscillations are, the closer we are to eudaimonia. Cassius Amicus: In Gosling & Taylor's "The Greeks on Pleasure" there is a discussion, if I recall, of the pleasures that ari…
  • EC: Gaius Florius Lupus, actually, whether hunger is a pain or not depends on the person and the situation-- it is impossible for one person, from the "outside", to define pain and pleasure for another person, and this is an important feature of the philosophy- that pain and pleasure are subjective. I only experience hunger as a pain if I think for some reason that my next meal is uncertain or will be significantly delayed beyond usual. Otherwise, hunger is part of the anticipation, and I enjoy…
  • GFL: I am quite surprised about the statement that pain and pleasure are subjective. I understand that they are qualia, i.e their nature cannot be communicated, but they have to be experienced in order to be understood. It is one of the three faculties that we have as guidance to truth. Fire is objectively painful for everybody, just as the sweetness of sugar is pleasant to everybody. Subjectiveness of pain and pleasure would make interactions with other people extremely difficult, if not impos…