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  • In Diogenes Laertius section on Democritus, one of Democritus' opinions is stated as: (Quote) Epicurus taught the reverse. Is there anything in the literature that posits that Epicurus was reacting against this particular doctrine of Democritus? Regardless, this seems like a good statement of what Epicurean pleasure is not.
  • In the same section DL says Democritus, in his travels, may have associated with the Gymnosophists in India (an ascetic sect). I'm wildly speculating here, but could it be that Demo developed an affinity for Eastern philosophies of the time, which Epicurus was equally responding against? I've read the occasional article on the cross-fertilization of Greek and India but have no idea as to the validity of any of this.
  • That quote was from the Hicks translation; here's the same quote from the Pamela Mensch version: (Quote) This touches on the problems of fragments, context and translation. This is all there is on this subject in DL. Judging by these two versions "any other emotion" is the intent, not just painful emotions. But it's not much to go on.
  • Exactly. That's why this quote seems to me to be a useful counterpoint to the Epicurean position. Epicurus would say "the goal is pleasure, which is not identical to tranquility, as some have mistakenly understood it to be." And proceed from there to replace Democritus' description of tranquility with his own description of pleasure as we often discuss it.
  • Hiram, I find this DL quote interesting for a couple of reasons: 1) It states that tranquility (not cheerfulness) is the goal and opposes that to pleasure 2) By implication of this contrast and Democritus' exposure to the east, it potentially contrasts pleasure with Buddhism or similar philosophies. However there's a lot to sort out, and this particular topic is new to me. Can you recommend any sources where I could pursue this further?
  • Lately I've been thinking that "we have a pleasure attraction/ pain aversion guidance system" might be less confusing than "pleasure is the goal" in the culture we currently inhabit. As you (and Epicurus) frequently emphasize, Cassius, the details must be seen in the context of the overall philosophy. Wording similar to what I'm suggesting might help to remind one of that context.