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A life worthy of the gods : the materialist psychology of by Lucretius Carus, Titus; Konstan, David; Epicurus

By Lucretius Carus, Titus; Konstan, David; Epicurus

Epicurus, and his Roman disciple Lucretius, held that the first reason behind human sadness was once an irrational worry of demise. what's extra, they believed transparent knowing of the character of the area might support to dispose of this worry; for if we recognize that the universe and every thing in it's made of atoms and empty house, we'll see that the soul can't probably continue to exist the extinction of the physique -- and no damage to us can take place once we die. This releasing perception is on the middle of Epicurean treatment. during this publication, Konstan seeks to teach how such fears arose, in accordance with the Epicureans, and why they persist even in sleek societies. It deals a detailed exam of the elemental ideas of Epicurean psychology: displaying how a method according to a materialistic international view may provide a coherent account of irrational anxieties and wishes, and supply a treatment that will permit people to take pleasure in lifestyles to the fullest measure

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Stokes 1996: 160 rightly notes that “it is difficult to resist the supposition that ἀταραξία and ἀπονία offer within the katastematic category a contrast of bodily and mental”; hence both body and soul have both kinds of pleasures. Despite Stokes’ doubts, this surely reflects Epicurus’ own view. But the contrast between khara and euphrosunê is, Stokes says (161), obscure: the latter should, in the context, refer to kinetic bodily pleasure or hêdonê, and I do not doubt that it does, even though the term is not clearly so restricted in the Epicurean texts we have.

The telos or goal of Epicurean philosophy is not khara, but ataraxy (combined with the absence of physical pain). 26 If, as I have argued, fear and joy are experienced in the rational part of the soul, the question arises: do animals (other than human beings) have these emotions? The answer depends on whether animals are considered rational. Aristotle, like the Stoics, held that they are not. As William Fortenbaugh writes (2002: 94): Humans have the capacity to think…. Animals lack this cognitive capacity and therefore cannot experience emotions as analyzed by Aristotle.

35. 17 On the distinction between joy and pleasure, cf. Purinton 1993: 287–88; I disagree, however, with Purinton’s definition of khara as “the intentional state which has pleasure as its object” (292). 18 Purinton 1993: 288–90 defends the dative (the passage is cited more extensively, with further discussion, in Chapter 4, pp. 131–32). Giannantoni 1984: 28 cites this passage to show that Epicurus “teneva distinte khara e euphrosunê in quanto in moto, da quella condizione catastematica dell’anima (ataraxia) e del corpo (aponia) in cui consiste la vera hêdonê”; I agree, save that hêdonê in the strict sense pertains, I believe, to the non-rational part of the soul.

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