Human Philosophy: Critique Of The Epicurus Theory

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Critique of the Epicurus’ theory of the most valuable pleasure The goal of this essay is to provide an argument against possibility of Epicurus’ attempt to determine the most valuable pleasures. Through the analysis of the key concepts and their relation in Epicurus’ theory I will try to show that his concept of pleasure does not take into account basic human psychology and that this oversight leads to faulty generalization about human nature. I will argue that it is not possible to identify the most valuable pleasure due to diversity of our personalities. In order to understand Epicurus’ pursuit for the most valuable pleasure it is necessary to explain the notions of pleasure and desires. Pleasure is defined negatively as absence of physical pain and mental distress . Each pleasure comes with a price tag and the price is pain. Some pleasures may seem suitable at a first glance, but can bring much pain later. Therefore, in order to live a pleasant life one needs to constantly measure pleasure against prospective pain. Prudence serves as some sort of fine tune for “pleasure scale” by which one can differentiate and seek pleasures that are more valuable and avoid the other. But is there some intrinsic feature of certain pleasure that makes it valuable? The causes of pain (both physical and mental) are unnecessary or unreasonable desires i.e. the ones “that do not lead to pain when they remain unsatisfied” . The more unreasonable desire is the more pain will cause and its

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