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  • For anyone interested, here is my commentary and translation: https://archive.org/details/le…/52/mode/1up?view=theater Furthermore, on the one hand, there are the natural desires; on the other, the 'empty, fruitless, or vain ones.' And of the natural ones, on the one hand, are the necessary ones; on the other, the ones which are only natural; then, of the necessary ones: on the one hand, those necessary for eudaimonia; then, those necessary for the freedom from disturbance for the body; then tho…
  • (Quote from Don) Several points. Not necessarily original, just on my mind. There are two primary categories of desires: A. Empty/fruitless/vain/groundless ones B. Natural ones So, whatever desires are not empty are natural Of the Natural ones, there are: A. Just natural ones (these are sometimes qualifed as "not necessary" in some parts of the text but not here; here it says they're "only natural") B. Those natural AND necessary Of these natural AND necessary ones, there are: 1. Those necessary…
  • 67. I do not think I could conceive of the good** without the joys of taste, of sex, of hearing, and without the pleasing motions caused by the sight of bodies and forms. οὐδὲ γὰρ ἔγωγε ἔχω τί νοήσω τἀγαθὸν** ἀφαιρῶν μὲν τὰς διὰ χυλῶν ἡδονάς, ἀφαιρῶν δὲ τὰς διʼ ἀφροδισίων, ἀφαιρῶν δὲ τὰς διʼ ἀκροαμάτῶν, ἀφαιρῶν δὲ καὶ τὰς διὰ μορφῆς κατʼ ὄψιν [those by way of shapes and along with vision] ἡδείας κινήσεις [pleasing motion]. οὐδὲ γὰρ ἔγωγε ἔχω τί νοήσω [thinking/conceiving] τἀγαθὸνI do not believe…
  • Wonderful and potentially very fruitful discussion!! Having this many insightful and curious people on the podcast and on the forum is a boon! I realize I'm heading deep into the weeds with this post, but, as is my habit, I wanted to try to get at what the ancients thought when they used the word we're translating as "desire": epithymia επιθυμία. Where did it show up? What connotations did it have? How was it defined at the time? I found this paper: https://www.academia.edu/resource/work/7251492…
  • I may take you up on your idea with Latin although I am woefully ignorant of that language. If someone else wants to jump in the linguistic pool, come in! As a first step, just saw this paper https://www.academia.edu/resource/work/3295067 But I'll have to try and figure out what got used in Lucretius and Cicero in relation to Epicurean themes.
  • More resources of varying academic rigor: http://people.wku.edu/jan.garrett/stoipass.htm https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concupiscence?wprov=sfla1 http://ldysinger.stjohnsem.edu…4_x2_lust/01_int-lust.htm Way too Christian but I thought this might be helpful: § 4. Ἐπιθυμία / epithumia = DESIRE, LONGING, LUST [Latin: desiderio] 1. In classical Greek: In Homer and the pre-Socratics ἐπιθυμία / epithumia denotes the direct impulse towards food, sexual satisfaction etc., and also desire in general. In t…
  • http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/h…3A1999.02.0130&expand=yes Not that many instances of desiderio in Lucretius? Must be using another word for desire. PS. From this... https://brill.com/downloadpdf/…Vaw1kgQQsgiQfZVuUg1iIKfwP It appears the usual Latin translation of Greek epithymia was voluntas. http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/h…4.0059%3Aentry%3Dvoluntas So in Lucretius... http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/h…3A1999.02.0130&expand=yes So more than desiderio but not as many as I'd expect. Assuming there are m…
  • To bring this back to the discussion started on the podcast, it seems to me that desire (epithymia/ voluntas) is a feeling (falling under the pathē) but also an act of will so to speak. From that table above, desire (epithymia) is a feeling of something that results in some pleasure. The opposite of desire is fear (phobos) which appears to be a feeling repelling against something that leads to pain. There are only two categories of feeling because you can only be attracted or repelled by feeling…
  • (Quote from Cassius) I want to go back through the arguments in the thread and reasons, but this one stuck out to me. I'd have to say no to that paraphrase. Epicurus explicitly describes some desires as groundless, empty, vain. That doesn't sound like a description of something "good." In fact, it sounds like something to be avoided.
  • (Quote from Cassius) Letter to Menoikeus: [130] So, all pleasure, through its nature, belongs to us as a good; however, not all are elected; and just as all pains are entirely evil by their nature, so not all are always to be shunned.It is proper when judging these things to consider what is advantageous and what is not advantageous for you; in other words, what the consequences will be. We consult the consequences of our actions; because, on the one hand, pleasure over time can lead to pain; an…
  • One of the issues at play here seems to be the use of the words "good" and "bad" which begins to - albeit unconsciously - give desire and pain and pleasure a moral coloring. I don't think that's useful for our discussions, so I would like to steer us away from any deliberate or accidental moral arguments. In the original, pain is κακος kakos which is sometimes translated as bad but the original had the following connotations: As a measure of quality: bad, worthless, useless As a measure of appea…
  • Here's where I'm at on what desires are. Some of this has already been offered by ya'll so I fully admit this is not necessarily original! I'm just consolidating my understanding. So... The BIG category under which all this falls are the pathe. This literally means "that which happens to someone, that which is experienced." Everything we "feel" falls under this category. The only ways we experience something is whether it causes us to feel pleasure or whether it causes us to feel pain. That's wh…
  • I also think it's instructive to look at that word "natural" in the "natural" and "empty" desires. Natural is φυσικός "physikos" "natural, produced or caused by nature, inborn, native." The natural desires are the ones that we're born with, the ones that naturally arise because of our being physical, material, mortal beings. The "empty" desires then - to me - refer to desires that have been inculcated in us by culture, indoctrination, societal expectations, etc. They do not naturally arise withi…
  • (Quote from Joshua) As i mentioned, I'm intrigued by Joshua 's thesis, and additionally I was taken with the idea of hope and fear (ἐλπίδος καὶ φόβου). So, I was really wondering where Epicurus may have used ἐλπίδος (which is the genitive of ἐλπίς) "hope, confidence, expectation" Fragment 116: I summon you to unceasing joy and not to empty and trifling virtues, which destroy your confidence in the fruits of what you have. ἐγὼ δʼ ἐφʼ ἡδονὰς συνεχεῖς παρακαλῶ καὶ οὐκ ἐπʼ ἀρετὰς κενὰς καὶ ματαίας κ…
  • (Quote from Cassius) (Quote from Cassius) LOL! Methinks you imbue my stream of consciousness with too much significance, but I appreciate the thought. (Quote from Cassius) Oh, I agree! My only intent was to get away from moral judgements. Desires arise naturally from our physical needs and from just living our life but they also arise from things we've been inculcated to desire by society and culture. They're not *morally* good or bad but they can be useful to our life and existence or detriment…
  • (Quote from Cassius) Oh, agreed. But I would re-word your statement to say: "We choose which of our desires we will fulfill, consistent with our free will" We don't necessarily choose which desires arise within us. Many - most? - of our desires arise from things outside of ourselves. Of course, we have desires to drink, eat, etc., that arise from bodily interoception. We may also have desires that arise naturally from within our memories of past pleasures we'd like to repeat. But we also have de…
  • (Quote from Cassius) You bring up an interesting question with that parenthetical "thoughts?" As to "images," yes, that would substantiate an external stimuli for most/many of our desires (thoughts?). So maybe modern Epicureans can take that idea of external stimuli affecting our thoughts, memories, etc. as canonical? As to the actual mechanism of the external stimuli, I take the concept of the images/eidolon/spectres as an historical curiosity and pre-scientific idea. We know there aren't strea…
  • (Quote from Godfrey) I agree they're related, but I'm thinking they're not degrees but species of the same genus. But of course that begs the question: What genus?
  • Here may be an interesting paper: https://www.academia.edu/resource/work/25511307 Sigh... It seems it may be instructive to read Aristotle's 2 Ethics: Nichomachean and Eudemian. It may need interesting to see how he categorized the pathē and what subdivisions he came up with. Even if Epicurus didn't agree with him in all things, Aristotle and Plato had a huge impact on Greek thought.
  • (Quote from Godfrey) Excellent question! Hmmm... I guess I would ask if you actually expect world peace to happen. Do you have an expectation that will actually occur? Or do you want it to happen with no real expectation that it will occur? If the former, I would call that hope/expectation/confidence. If the latter, I would call that a desire.