Thank you for your interesting comment!
Daily Philosophy

First, let me say thanks for sharing your knowledge of Epicurus. I’ve learned a lot from your articles and the comments. It’s an interesting argument, that static pleasures as conceived of by Epicurus are more real (or of higher value) than fleeting ones. I think this highlights the debate over whether his definition of pleasure (as being absence of pain) is really correct, or at least the one most people subscribe too.

Briefly, when you’re hungry that’s pain, when you eat to assuage that hunger that’s pleasure, but when you’re not hungry (and hence not eating) Epicurus would have us believe that’s pleasure, but I think most people would characterise that as neither (or something closer to “emptiness” as suggested by other commentators). In fact, I wonder if maybe impermanence is a necessary characteristic of pleasure?

I think that rather than trying to achieve some sort of static state of pleasure (is that what Epicurus advocates?), it might make more sense to embrace the inevitable variability of our sensations. There will be pleasure. There will be pain. Trying to perpetuate pleasure and eradicate pain, while very understandable, is maybe ultimately futile. Perhaps, it makes more sense to embrace pleasure (recognizing its inherently fleeting nature) and endure pain (likewise), trying to achieve (again as suggested by one of your other respondents) a balance between them.

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