Monday, January 22, 2018
Epicurus On Living Pleasantly
This quote comes from Epicurus in his Letter to Menoeceus, which succinctly explains the doctrines of hedonism. In hedonism, the virtues are seen as instrumental goods necessary for the obtainment of enduring happiness and tranquility, rather than ends in themselves as they are viewed in Stoicism and other schools of virtue ethics. This state of enduring happiness is called 'ataraxia' or inner tranquility. The practice of virtue leads us towards inner tranquility by limiting or eliminating the self-destructive behavior that often results from the pursuit of vain and empty desires. For example, the virtue of temperance keeps us from over indulging in sensual pleasures that may cause more pain for us in the long run. Similarly, the virtue of prudence guides us to make the right choices about which pleasures we should pursue and which pleasures we should avoid. Hopefully, this will help clear up any misconceptions about hedonism in mainstream society.