Epicurus principal doctrines
1. A happy and eternal being has no trouble himself and brings no
trouble upon any other being; hence he is exempt from movements of
anger and partiality, for every such movement implies weakness
2. Death is nothing to us; for the body, when it has been resolved
into its elements, has no feeling, and that which has no feeling is
nothing to us.
3. The magnitude of pleasure reaches its limit in the removal of all
pain. When pleasure is present, so long as it is uninterrupted, there
is no pain either of body or of mind or of both together.
4. Continuous pain does not last long in the body; on the contrary,
pain, if extreme, is present a short time, and even that degree of
pain which barely outweighs pleasure in the body does not last for
many days together. Illnesses of long duration even permit of an
excess of pleasure over pain in the body.
5. It is impossible to live a pleasant life without living wisely and
well and justly, and it is impossible to live wisely and well and
justly without living pleasantly. Whenever any one of these is
lacking, when, for instance, the person is not able to live wisely,
though he lives well and justly, it is impossible for him to live a
6. In order to obtain security from other people any means whatever of
procuring this was a natural good.
7. Some people have sought to become famous and renowned, thinking
that thus they would make themselves secure against their
fellow-humans. If, then, the life of such persons really was secure,
they attained natural good; if, however, it was insecure, they have
not attained the end which by nature's own prompting they originally
8. No pleasure is in itself evil, but the things which produce certain
pleasures entail annoyances many times greater than the pleasures
9. If all pleasure had been capable of accumulation, -- if this had
gone on not only be recurrences in time, but all over the frame or, at
any rate, over the principal parts of human nature, there would never
have been any difference between one pleasure and another, as in fact
10. If the objects which are productive of pleasures to profligate
persons really freed them from fears of the mind, -- the fears, I
mean, inspired by celestial and atmospheric phenomena, the fear of
death, the fear of pain; if, further, they taught them to limit their
desires, we should never have any fault to find with such persons, for
they would then be filled with pleasures to overflowing on all sides
and would be exempt from all pain, whether of body or mind, that is,
from all evil.
11. If we had never been molested by alarms at celestial and
atmospheric phenomena, nor by the misgiving that death somehow affects
us, nor by neglect of the proper limits of pains and desires, we
should have had no need to study natural science.
12. It would be impossible to banish fear on matters of the highest
importance, if a person did not know the nature of the whole universe,
but lived in dread of what the legends tell us. Hence without the
study of nature there was no enjoyment of unmixed pleasures.
13. There would be no advantage in providing security against our
fellow humans, so long as we were alarmed by occurrences over our
heads or beneath the earth or in general by whatever happens in the
14. When tolerable security against our fellow humans is attained,
then on a basis of power sufficient to afford supports and of material
prosperity arises in most genuine form the security of a quiet private
life withdrawn from the multitude.
15. Nature's wealth at once has its bounds and is easy to procure; but
the wealth of vain fancies recedes to an infinite distance.
16. Fortune but seldom interferes with the wise person; his greatest
and highest interests have been, are, and will be, directed by reason