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 / G. Free Will / 2. Free Will Theories / a. Fate
We should not refer things to irresponsible necessity, but either to fortune or to our own will
Sooner follow mythology, than accept the 'fate' of natural philosophers
20. Action / B. 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 / D. Explaining an Action / 5. Responsbility for Actions
Our own choices are autonomous, and the basis for praise and blame
22. Metaethics / A. Ethical Ends / 5. Happiness / d. Routes to happiness
The best life is not sensuality, but rational choice and healthy opinion
22. Metaethics / A. Ethical Ends / 6. Pleasure / a. Nature of pleasure
True pleasure is not debauchery, but freedom from physical and mental pain
22. Metaethics / A. Ethical Ends / 6. Pleasure / b. Value of pleasure
Pleasure is the first good in life
We only need pleasure when we have the pain of desire
22. Metaethics / A. Ethical Ends / 6. Pleasure / c. Types of pleasure
Pleasure is the goal, but as lack of pain and calm mind, not as depraved or greedy pleasure
22. Metaethics / A. Ethical Ends / 6. Pleasure / e. Role of pleasure
All pleasures are good, but it is not always right to choose them
22. Metaethics / D. Consequentialism / 3. Moral Luck
Sooner a good decision going wrong, than a bad one turning out for the good
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
The wisdom that produces a good life also produces a good 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