Ideas from 'Letter to Menoeceus' by Epicurus [291 BCE], by Theme Structure

[found in 'The Epicurus Reader' by Epicurus (ed/tr Inwood,B. /Gerson,L.) [Hackett 1994,0-87220-241-0]].

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1. Philosophy / D. Nature of Philosophy / 2. Invocation to Philosophy
Begin philosophy when you are young, and keep going when you are old
16. Persons / F. Free Will / 2. Free Will Theories / a. Fate
Sooner follow mythology, than accept the 'fate' of natural philosophers
We should not refer things to irresponsible necessity, but either to fortune or to our own will
20. Action / C. Motives for Action / 3. Acting on Reason / a. Practical reason
Prudence is more valuable than philosophy, because it avoids confusions of the soul
20. Action / C. Motives for Action / 4. Responsibility for Actions
Our own choices are autonomous, and the basis for praise and blame
22. Metaethics / B. The Good / 1. Goodness / f. Good as pleasure
Pleasure is the first good in life
Pleasure is the goal, but as lack of pain and calm mind, not as depraved or greedy pleasure
All pleasures are good, but it is not always right to choose them
22. Metaethics / B. The Good / 1. Goodness / i. Moral luck
Sooner a good decision going wrong, than a bad one turning out for the good
22. Metaethics / B. The Good / 2. Happiness / d. Routes to happiness
The best life is not sensuality, but rational choice and healthy opinion
22. Metaethics / B. The Good / 3. Pleasure / a. Nature of pleasure
True pleasure is not debauchery, but freedom from physical and mental pain
22. Metaethics / B. The Good / 3. Pleasure / c. Value of pleasure
We only need pleasure when we have the pain of desire
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 1. Virtue Theory / b. Basis of virtue
Prudence is the greatest good, and more valuable than philosophy, because it produces virtue
24. Applied Ethics / C. Death Issues / 1. Death
It is absurd to fear the pain of death when you are not even facing it
Fearing death is absurd, because we are not present when it occurs
The wisdom that produces a good life also produces a good death