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  • First thoughts: It may be admissible to describe Epicurus's description of the highest pleasure being the absence of pain as "idiosyncratic" simply because he shifts focus. It would be like describing a full glass of water as the absence of air in the glass. But the *real* import of saying there's not air in the glass is an "idiosyncratic" way of emphasized the point that the glass is completely filled to the rim with water. Your glass is completely filled with no room for any more water. Same w…
  • (Quote) I wouldn't call ataraxia the "main constituent" but I may go so far as to call it a necessary condition but not a sufficient one.
  • A lot going on in this thread and I have some thoughts on specific comments, but for now I'd like to be clear about what I mean when I use tranquility or ataraxia. I don't mean some mystical state or some "special" state or some woo-woo state. I do mean simply a clear-headed, calm mind unruffled by anxiety or fear. A person can have that state if they are relaxing, if they are engaged in action, even if they're on the battlefield. It means someone isn't freaking out. It means they approach decis…
  • (Quote from Cassius) (Quote from Cassius) Ask me if I care about what Cicero and the academics think! I'm just trying to make sense of this philosophy for my own life!
  • (Quote from Kalosyni) I'm not sure of "therapeutics" but maybe techniques? Exercises? Suggested activities? Epicurus did make the direct comparison between medicine and philosophy, so there's something there. I'd have to review all those texts, but I can say that I doubt we'll find specific instructions. Our textual treasury is just not deep enough However, I'm going to offer that his "maza (bread) and water" comment in Menoikeus is an instruction - a declaration - to pay attention to the daily,…
  • Random Internet sites I found sort of on this topic I now submit for consideration, neither endorsing nor disapproving at this point: (Edit: I'm slowly going back and pulling out quotes and commenting. I hope that doesn't change anyone's reactions ) https://ponderingwithpete.com/living-like-an-epicurean/ (Quote) I found some interesting comments from this college student, but the excerpt above made me sad. I'm not sure where he got the "absolute" idea from, but I suspect it was "all pleasure is …
  • At the risk of repeating myself, I'm coming to think of katastematic pleasure as generated within myself. As Epicurus does, I include ataraxia and aponia in that category. Kinetic pleasures I'm coming to think of as being generated from taking part in an activity like dancing, sex, eating, relaxing, etc. Granted, I need texts to back up my intuition but that's where I'm headed. So to connect this to Pacatus post above, I'd agree that fear is manifest or felt in the body and mind; however, I'd sa…
  • I'm leaning toward Metrodorus in his fragments. Here's what I posted in another thread: "Metrodorus, in his book On the Source of Happiness in Ourselves being greater than that which arises from Objects, says: 'What else is the good of the soul but the sound state of the flesh, and the sure hope of its continuance?'" This, to me, points to the "source" - "the sound state of the flesh" (to sarkos eustathes *katastema*) - being a more confident source of pleasure than "objects" (kinetic pleasure).…
  • (Quote from Pacatus) In taking another look at that quote, I would call "a physical undisturbedness" aponia instead of ataraxia.
  • My understanding is that aponia has to do with pain in the body, ataraxia with disturbance in the mind
  • (Quote from Pacatus) LOL! Uh oh! (Quote from Pacatus) First, I'll say "no" to that but only because Epicurus repeatedly brings up the health of the body and the tranquility of the mind, or variations on that theme. As such, it seems to me that it's good to understand what the significance was to Epicurus and the classical Epicureans and how it can be applied to an Epicurean way of life. (Quote from Pacatus) The distinction may be relative realistically, scientifically, or medically; however, how…