By David Konstan
Epicurus, and his Roman disciple Lucretius, held that the first explanation for human sadness used to be an irrational worry of loss of life. what's extra, they believed transparent realizing of the character of the realm could aid to do away with this worry; for if we recognize that the universe and every thing in it truly is made from atoms and empty house, we'll see that the soul can't potentially continue to exist the extinction of the physique -- and no damage to us can happen once we die. This freeing perception is on the center of Epicurean treatment. during this ebook, Konstan seeks to teach how such fears arose, in keeping with the Epicureans, and why they persist even in sleek societies. It bargains a detailed exam of the elemental ideas of Epicurean psychology: displaying how a process in response to a materialistic international view may supply a coherent account of irrational anxieties and needs, and supply a remedy that will permit humans to get pleasure from existence to the fullest measure.
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Extra info for A Life Worthy of the Gods: The Materialist Psychology of Epicurus
61 translates lupê as aegritudo, and this seems right. Cf. also Epic. fr. 14 Thus, in the Letter to Herodotus (63–64) Epicurus writes: “one must hold firmly that the soul [psukhê] is most responsible for sense-perception [aisthêsis]. But [the soul] would not have aquired this [power] if it were not somehow enclosed by the rest of the aggregate. But the rest of the aggregate, though it provides for the soul this cause [of sense-perception], itself has a share in this property because of the soul; for it does not share in all the features which the soul has” (trans.
I–VII = Indelli 1978: 109–11; cf. Warren 2002: 137–38). Moreover, Lucretius provides, I believe, indirect evidence that animals do not experience emotions, and more particularly fear. 710–13). 714–21): ni mirum quia sunt gallorum in corpore quaedam semina, quae cum sunt oculis inmissa leonum, pupillas interfodiunt acremque dolorem praebent, ut nequeant contra durare feroces, cum tamen haec nostras acies nil laedere possint, aut quia non penetrant aut quod penetrantibus illis exitus ex oculis liber datur, in remorando laedere ne possint ex ulla lumina parte.
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.
A Life Worthy of the Gods: The Materialist Psychology of Epicurus by David Konstan