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The Virtue of Pleasure: Epicurus - Essay Example

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The Virtue of Pleasure: Epicurus

According to the postulates of Epicurus, in the life of any human being, the only chief good in life is the pleasure that individuals attain from various thoughts, actions and experiences. It is thus in the virtue of individual pleasure that Epicurus advises people to ensure that they attain maximum enjoyment in life by achieving the most pleasurable moments and experiences. The living process must therefore be full of activities and thoughts which enable human beings to have a pleasurable living experience. Epicurus justifies this by saying that pleasure is the sole good (Koen 27). Regardless of the postulates that Epicurus gives on the virtue of pleasure, he also considers moderation in his philosophy. In this regard, Epicurus shows that in the pursuit of drawing pleasure out of life experiences, moderation or limits must be considered. It is through having limits or moderation in the derivation of pleasure that undue suffering is avoided. Such suffering is described by Epicurus as that which would emanate if there was overindulgence in the activities which give people pleasurable moments and feelings. It can be exemplified that the things which bring pleasure can also lead to pain if moderation in their consumption is not valued. For example people who overindulge in eating, though pleasurable, would lead to poor health and even medical conditions. Therefore, the teachings which Epicurus presents through his philosophy on pleasure enable individuals to value moderation in life activities and thus prevent experiencing unnecessary pain. It is thus evident that the ability of an individual to achieve pleasure is upon the choices which are made during the life processes. According to the philosophy of pleasure as put forward by Epicurus, pleasure exists in two distinct forms. There is static pleasure and moving pleasure (Fish 48). Static pleasure occurs in the process of satisfying one’s desires. For example hunger brings forth a desire for food. When an individual is enjoying a favorite meal, he or she is in a process of moving pleasure. During this kind of moving pleasure, there is activation and excitation of various sensory senses such as those of taste and smell for the delicious food. After the moving pleasure comes the static pleasure. After an individual finishes taking his or her favorite meal, there is a state of satiety which follows. This state is in itself pleasurable and is thus referred to static pleasure due to the fact that it is not an active process of satisfying one’s desires. In accordance to the postulates that Epicures puts across, static pleasure are in this regard the most pleasurable pleasures. Therefore, it is during static pleasure that an individual’s desires are fully satisfied. In the description of the static and moving pleasures, it is important to note that each of these types of pleasures would either be physical pleasures or pleasure of the mind (Koen 39). This means that in the pleasurable moments, an individual would experience pleasure within the physical form or within one’s mind. As prescribed by Epicurus, the pleasure of the mind is the kind of satisfaction of accomplished desires which emanates from the mind. On the other hand, physical pleasure is the kind of desire attainment which is expressed in the physical form. In the light of this differentiation, it is notable that pleasure of the mind is long lasting as compared to the physical pleasure (Fish 57). It is due to the above arguments that Epicurus argues that ...Show more

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Instructor Date The Virtue of Pleasure: Epicurus The virtue of pleasure is a philosophy which was postulated by Epicurus. In accordance to Epicurus, the need to satisfy one’s desires is the basis of the ethic or virtue of individual pleasure…
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