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By David Konstan
Epicurus, and his Roman disciple Lucretius, held that the first explanation for human sadness used to be an irrational worry of dying. what's extra, they believed transparent knowing of the character of the realm could support to cast off this worry; for if we realize that the universe and every thing in it really is made of atoms and empty house, we are going to see that the soul can't potentially continue to exist the extinction of the physique -- and no damage to us can take place once we die. This freeing perception is on the middle of Epicurean treatment. during this ebook, Konstan seeks to teach how such fears arose, in response to the Epicureans, and why they persist even in glossy societies. It bargains a detailed exam of the fundamental ideas of Epicurean psychology: exhibiting how a method in accordance with a materialistic international view may provide a coherent account of irrational anxieties and needs, and supply a treatment that might enable people to take pleasure in lifestyles to the fullest measure.
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Extra info for A Life Worthy of the Gods: The Materialist Psychology of Epicurus
5, 1382a21–25; cf. Konstan 2006c: 129–34). 73)—of the nature of an impending evil: that it is indeed harmful or productive of pain. The sensation of pain is incorrigible: that is in the nature of a pathos. Fear, however, is subject to reasoning and argument. It may indeed have a valid cause, in which case it is justified, or it may not—as in the case of the fear of death, according to Epicurus. It is esssential to fear that it pertain to the rational part of the soul, for if it did not, there would be no possibility of eliminating it by the therapy of philosophy.
61 translates lupê as aegritudo, and this seems right. Cf. also Epic. fr. 14 Thus, in the Letter to Herodotus (63–64) Epicurus writes: “one must hold firmly that the soul [psukhê] is most responsible for sense-perception [aisthêsis]. But [the soul] would not have aquired this [power] if it were not somehow enclosed by the rest of the aggregate. But the rest of the aggregate, though it provides for the soul this cause [of sense-perception], itself has a share in this property because of the soul; for it does not share in all the features which the soul has” (trans.
We understand fear as involving not simply the awareness of an unpleasant sensation, but rather as a complex emotion involving a 23 For an example of the kind of confusion that results from not distinguishing the parts of the soul in which pleasure and higher-order mental operations such as beliefs operate, cf. Strozier 1985: 86–87: “experience involves not simply the consciousness of feelings but a consciousness of the causes of the feelings…. Every feeling is, as I have said, the necessary consequence of a cognition.
A Life Worthy of the Gods: The Materialist Psychology of Epicurus by David Konstan