The Principal Doctrines is a collection of forty of the most important articles of Epicurus’s teaching, presumably extracted by a disciple from the master’s voluminous works. And the case is the same with those nations, the members of which are either unwilling or unable to enter into a covenant to respect their mutual interests. The man who has best ordered the element of disquiet arising from external circumstances has made those things that he could akin to himself and the rest at least not alien; but with all to which he could not do even this, he has refrained from mixing, and has expelled from his life all which it was of advantage to treat thus. For up to the time of death it cannot be certain that he will indeed escape. And he who asserts either that it is not yet time to philosophise, or that the hour is passed, is like a man who should say that the time is not yet come to be happy, or that it is too late. The Principal Doctrines are 40 statements attributed to Epicurus. Translated by Cyril Bailey - Oxford, 1926. The wise man is but little favoured by fortune; but his reason procures him the greatest and most valuable goods, and these he does enjoy, and will enjoy the whole of his life. When, therefore, we say that pleasure is a chief good, we are not speaking of the pleasures of the debauched man, or those which lie in sensual enjoyment, as some think who are ignorant, and who do not entertain our opinions, or else interpret them perversely; but we mean the freedom of the body from pain, and the soul from confusion. The sensible evidence does not in the least contradict these different suppositions, and all those of the same kind which one can form, having always a due regard to what is possible, and can bring back each phenomenon to its analogous appearances in sensible facts, without disquieting one's self about the miserable speculations of the astrologers. If you resist all the senses, you will not even have anything left to which you can refer, or by which you may be able to judge of the falsehood of the senses which you condemn. Hurricanes may be caused either by the presence of a cloud, which a violent wind sets in motion and precipitates with a spiral movement towards the lower regions, or by a violent gust which bears a cloud into the neighbourhood of some other current, or else by the mere agitation of the wind by itself, when air is brought together from the higher regions and compressed without being able to escape on either side, in consequence of the resistance of the air which surrounds it; [105] G   when the hurricane descends towards the earth, then there result whirlwinds in proportion to the rapidity of the wind that has produced them; and this phenomenon extends over the sea also. And, we think contentment a great good, not in order that we may never have but a little, but in order that, if we have not much, we may make use of a little, being genuinely persuaded that those men enjoy luxury most completely who are the best able to do without it; and that everything which is natural is easily provided, and what is useless is not easily procured. It is right then for a man to consider the things which produce happiness, since, if happiness is present, we have everything, and when it is absent, we do everything with a view to possess it. In a broad sense, it is a system of ethics embracing every conception or form of life that can be traced to the principles of his philosophy. $11.99. Appendix 5: Epicurus: True Belief about the Gods . In fact, it can take place in every sort of way, since there is not one of those things that are seen in this world which proves otherwise, and in which we cannot detect any extremity; [89] G   and that such worlds are infinite in number is easily seen, and in the metakosmion, as we call the space between the worlds, being a huge space made up of matter and void, but not, as some philosophers pretend, an immensity of space absolutely empty. Injustice is not an evil in itself, but only in consequence of the fear which attaches to the apprehension of being unable to escape those appointed to punish such actions. The just man is the freest of all men from disquietude; but the unjust man is a perpetual prey to it. In short, this phenomenon also may admit a great number of explanations. The same opinion encourages man to trust that no evil will be everlasting, or even of long duration; as it sees that, in the space of life allotted to us, the protection of friendship is most sure and trustworthy. To accustom one's self, therefore, to simple and inexpensive habits is a great ingredient in the perfecting of health, and makes a man free from hesitation with respect to the necessary uses of life. It may also happen that the light vapours reunite and become condensed under the form of clouds, that they then take fire in consequence of their rotary motion, and that, bursting the obstacles which surround them, they proceed towards the places whither the force by which they are animated drags them. If apprehensions relating to the heavenly bodies did not disturb us, and if the terrors of death have no concern with us, and if we had the courage to contemplate the boundaries of pain and of the desires, we should have no need of physiological studies. Epicurus taught a philosophy devoted to maximizing pleasure through simple living. For the sake of feeling confidence and security with regard to men, anything in nature is good, if it provides the means to achieve this. The flesh sets no limits to pleasure, and therefore it yearns for an eternity of time. It is not possible for a man who secretly does anything in contravention of the agreement which men have made with one another, to guard against doing, or sustaining mutual injury, to believe that he shall always escape notice, even if he has escaped notice already ten thousand times; for till his death, it is uncertain whether he will not be detected.

epicurus principal doctrines pdf

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