republic (books 6 - 10)
Again, when pleasure ceases, that sort of rest or cessation
will be painful?
Doubtless, he said.
Then the intermediate state of rest will be pleasure and will
also be pain?
So it would seem.
But can that which is neither become both?
I should say not.
And both pleasure and pain are motions of the soul, are
But that which is neither was just now shown to be rest
and not motion, and in a mean between them?
How, then, can we be right in supposing that the absence
of pain is pleasure, or that the absence of pleasure is pain?
This, then, is an appearance only, and not a reality; that is
to say, the rest is pleasure at the moment and in comparison
of what is painful, and painful in comparison of what is pleas-
ant; but all these representations, when tried by the test of
true pleasure, are not real, but a sort of imposition?
That is the inference.
Look at the other class of pleasures which have no ante-
cedent pains and you will no longer suppose, as you perhaps
may at present, that pleasure is only the cessation of pain, or
pain of pleasure.
What are they, he said, and where shall I find them?
There are many of them: take as an example, the pleasures
of smell, which are very great and have no antecedent pains;
they come in a moment, and when they depart leave no pain
Most true, he said.
Let us not, then, be induced to believe that pure pleasure
is the cessation of pain, or pain of pleasure.
Still, the more numerous and violent pleasures which reach
the soul through the body are generally of this sort--they are
reliefs of pain.
That is true.
And the anticipations of future pleasures and pains are of
a like nature?