Page images
PDF
EPUB

CHAP.
XIV.

aim of mankind to procure for themselves the highest sum total of enjoyments that can be in this life. Such a principle requires the past and the future as well as the present to be included in the pursuit, neither of which are in our power, and which certainly afford no enjoyment. A future feeling of pleasure is an emotion which has not yet begun; a past one is one which has already ceased. The one only rule of life is to cultivate the art of enjoying the present moment. . Only the present is ours.

Forbear then to trouble for that which is already past and for that what may never be yours.?

1 Diog. 87 : δοκεί δ' αυτούς και ουκ έτ' όν, το δε ούπω και άδηλον. τέλος ευδαιμονίας διαφέρειν. τέλος Elian. V.Η. xiv. 6: πάνυ σφόδρα μεν γαρ είναι την κατά μέρος ερρωμένως έγκει λέγειν ο Αρίηδονήν, ευδαιμονίαν δε το εκ των στιππος, παρεγγυών, μήτε τοίς μερικών ηδονών σύστημα, αίς συνα- παρελθούσιν επικάμνειν, μήτε των ριθμούνται και αι παρωχηκυίαι και απιόντων προκάμνειν' ευθυμίας γάρ αι μέλλουσαι. είναι τε την μερι- δείγμα το τοιούτο, και ίλεω διάκήν ηδονήν δι' αυτήν αιρετήν την νοιας απόδειξις· προσέταττε δε εφ' δ' ευδαιμονίαν ου δι' αυτήν, αλλά ημέρα την γνώμην έχεις και αν δια τας κατά μέρος ηδονάς. 89: πάλιν της ημέρας επ' εκείνο το αλλά μήν ουδέ κατά μνήμην των μέρει καθ' και έκαστος και πράττει αγαθών και προσδοκίαν ηδονήν φασιν τι ή εννοεί· μόνον γαρ έφασκεν αποτελείσθαι, όπερ ήρεσκεν 'Επι- ημέτερον είναι το παρόν, μήτε δε κούρω. εκλύεσθαι γάρ τω χρόνω το φθάνον μήτε το προσδοκώμενον· το της ψυχής κίνημα. Ιbid. 91: το μέν γάρ απολωλέναι, το δε άδηαρκεί δε καν κατά μίαν [ηδονήν] λον είναι είπερ έσται. There can τις προσπίπτουσαν ήδέως επανάγη. be no doubt that Aristippus Athen. xii. 544, a: ['Αρίστιππος] had already propounded these αποδεξάμενος την ηδυπάθειαν ταύ- views, his whole life presupτην τέλος είναι έφη και εν αυτή posing them, and his other την ευδαιμονίαν βεβλήσθαι και views immediately leading to μονόχρoνoν αυτών είναι παραπλη- them, p. 352, 2. The precise forσίως τους ασώτοις ούτε την μνήμην mularising of them may very των γεγονυιών απολαύσεων προς possibly belong to the period αυτον ηγούμενος ούτε την ελπίδα of Epicurus. των εσομένων, αλλ' ενί μόνο το 2 Diog. 66 : απέλαυε μέν γάρ αγαθόν κρίνων τώ πάροντι, το δε ['Αρίστιππος] ηδονής των παρόναπολελαυκέναι και απολαύσειν ού. των, ουκ έθήρα δε πόνο την απόδεν νομίζων προς αυτόν, το μεν ως λαυσιν των ου παρόντων· όθεν και

CHAP.
XIV.

The character of the things whence the feeling of pleasure arises is in itself unimportant. Every pleasure as such is a good, nor is there in this respect any difference between one enjoyment and another. They may spring from various, even from opposite sources, but considered by themselves, they are all alike, one is as good as the other, a pleasurable emotion, and as such always a natural object of desire.' The Cyrenaics therefore can never allow that there are pleasures not only declared by law and custom to be bad, but bad by their very nature. In their view pleasure may be occasioned by a disreputable action, but in itself it is nevertheless good and desirable.2

At the same time this principle received several limitations by means of which its severity was con siderably toned down, and its application restricted. In the first place, the Cyrenaics could not deny that

(5) Moditied form of this extreme vien,

Διογένης βασιλικών κύνα έλεγεν tarchus replies: πώς λέγεις & αυτόν.

Σώκρατες; οίει γάρ τινα συγχωρή1 Diog. 87: μη διαφέρειν τε σεσθαι, θέμενον ηδονήν είναι ταγαηδονήν ηδονής, μηδέ ήδιόν τι θόν, είτα ανέξεσθαι σου λέγοντος είναι. Plato, Phileb. 12, D., τας μέν είναι τινας αγαθώς ηδονάς, where the champion of plea- τάς δέ τινας ετέρας αυτών κακάς. sure answers the objection of Just as little will Protarchus Socrates that good pleasur. s (36, C.) allow that there is must be distinguished from imaginary pleasure and pain. had ones thus : ciod uèv yàp See p. 347, 1. απεναντίων. ανται πραγμά- Diog. 88: είναι δε την ηδονήν των, ου μήν αυταί γε αλλήλαις αγαθών καν από των άσχημοτάτων εναντίαι: πώς γαρ ηδονή γε ήδονή γένηται, καθά φησιν Ιππόβατος εν μη ουχ ομοιότατον αν είη, τούτο το περί αιρέσεων. ει γαρ και η αυτό εαυτώ, πάντων, χρημάτων και πράξις άτοπος είη, αλλ' ούν ή Ibid. 13, A.: λέγεις γάρ αγαθά ήδονή δι' αυτήν αιρετή και αγαθόν. πάντα είναι τα ιδέα, how is To the same effect is the pasthis possible in the case of the sage quoted from the Philebus worst pleasures ? to which Pro- on p. 358, 1.

2

CHAP.
XIV.

notwithstanding the essential likeness there were yet differences of degree in feelings of pleasure: for allowing that every pleasure as such is good, it does not follow that the same amount of good belongs to all: as a matter of fact one affords more enjoyment than another, and therefore deserves to be preferred to it. Just as little did it escape their notice, that many enjoyments are only purchased at the cost of greater pain; hence they argue unbroken happiness is so hard to gain. They therefore required the consequences of an action to be taken into account; thus endeavouring again to secure by an indirect method the contrast between good and evil which they would not at first allow to attach to actions themselves. An action should be avoided when therefrom more pain follows than pleasure; hence a man of sense will abstain from things which are

con

Diog. 87 says that the Cy- allow of different kinds of plearenaics denied a difference in sure, those of the body and degrees of pleasure, but this is mind for instance. Ritter's undoubtedly a mistake. Diog. remarks on Diog. ii. 103, do ii. 90, says that they taught not appear conclusive. Just that bodily feelings of plea- as little can those of Wendt sure and pain were stronger (Phil. Cyr. 34, Gött. Aug. 1835, than mental ones. See p. 358, 3. 789) be entertained. Accord Plato too, Phil. 45, A. : 65 E., ing to Diogenes the Cyrenaics in the spirit of this School, only denied that any object talks of μέγισται των ηδονών, nor taken by itself and indepenis there the slightest reason dently of our feelings was more for equalising all enjoyments in pleasant than another. their system. They could not Diog. 90: διδ [?] και καθ' αυτήν allow that there was an abso- αιρετής ούσης της ηδονής τα ποιη- . lute difference of value be- τικά ενίων ηδονών οχληρά πολ. tween them, some being good λάκις έναντιούσθαι· ώς δυσκολώand others bad ; but they had τατον αυτοίς φαίνεσθαι τον αθροιno occasion to deny a relative σμόν των ηδονών ευδαιμονίαν ποιdifference between the more or ούντων. . See p. 355, 1. less good, and they might even

2

CHAP.
XIV.

demned by the laws of the state and public opinion.' Lastly, they also directed their attention to the difference between bodily and mental pleasures.? Holding bodily pains and pleasures to be more pungent than those of the mind ; : perhaps even attempting to show that all pleasure and its opposite are in the last resource conditioned by bodily feelings ; *

1 Diog. 93 : μηδέν τι είναι ότερον δε το ήδεσθαι υπελάμβανον : φύσει δίκαιον ή καλόν ή αισχρών, όθεν και πλείονα οικονομίαν περί the value of every action de- θάτερον εποιούντο. . pending on the pleasure which This is indicated by the exfollows it, αλλά νόμο και έθει, pression οικειότερον in the above και μέντοι σπουδαίος ουδέν άτοπον passage also. See p. 359, 2. πράξει δια τας επικειμένας ζημίας To say that not all pleasure and και δόξας.

. Wendt (Phil. Cyr. pain is connected with bodily 25) calls this statement in states, may be harmonised question without reason. It is with this statement by taking quite consistent in Aristippus, it to be their meaning, that not and is met with in Epicurus; every feeling has its immediate Zeller, Stoics, &c.; but he is object in the body, without, right (Ibid. 36, 42) in reject- however, denying more remote ing Schleiermacher's hypothe. connection between such feel. sis (Pl. W. ii. 1, 183; ii. 2, 18), ings and the body. Joy for one's that in the Gorgias Aristippus country's prosperity might in is being refuted under the name their minds be connected with of Callicles, and in the Cra- the thought that our own haptylus 384, Diogenes under that piness depends on that of our of Hermogenes.

country. It can only be con2 Which, strictly speaking, sidered an opponent's exagge. they could only have done by ration for Panatius and Cicero saying that one portion of our to assert that the Cyrenaics impressions appears to us to made bodily pleasure the end come from the body, another of life. (See p. 354, 3.) Cic. not; for they had long since Acad. iv. 45, 139 : Aristippus, given up all real knowledge of quasi animum nullum habeathings. But their consistency mus, corpus solum tuetur. The hardly went so far as this. highest good Aristippus de

3 Diog. ii. 90: Tolù uévrou clared consists not in bodily Tây Yuxikwv tàs owuatikàs åueís pleasure, but in pleasure geneνους είναι και τας οχλήσεις χείρους rally. If he regarded bodily τάς σωματικάς· όθεν και ταύταις pleasure as the strongest, and κολάζεσθαι μάλλον τους αμαρτά- in this sense as the best, it by voytas. (The same, Ibid.x. 137.) no means follows that he exχαλεπώτερον γάρ το πονείν, οικει- cluded mental pleasures from

CHAP.
XIV.

they nevertheless contended that there must be a something besides sensuous feelings, or it would be impossible to explain how unequal impressions are produced by perceptions altogether alike :the sight, for instance, of the sufferings of others, if they are real, gives a painful impression ; if only seen on the stage, a pleasurable one. They even allowed that there are pleasures and pains of the mind which have no immediate reference to any states of the body. The prosperity, for instance, of our country fills us with as much pleasure as does our own. Although therefore pleasure is in general made to coincide with the good, and pain with evil, the Cyrenaics are far from expecting happiness to result from the mere satisfaction of animal instincts. For a true enjoyment of life, you not only need to weigh the value and the consequences of every enjoyment, but you need also to acquire the proper disposition of mind. The most essential help to a pleasant life is prudence, not only because it supplies that presence of mind which is never at a loss for means," but, mainly, because it teaches how to make a proper use of the

3

the idea of good. Indeed, his τας ψυχικές ηδονάς και άλγηδόνας remarks respecting the value επί σωματικαίς ηδοναίς και άλγηof prudence make this probable. δόσι γίνεσθαι· και γαρ επί ψιλή See Wendt, 22.

τη της πατρίδος ευημερία ώσπερ 1 Diog. 90 : λέγουσι δε μηδε τη ιδία χαράν εγγίνεσθαι. κατά ψιλήν την όρασιν ή την ακοής 3 See p. 347, 2. γίνεσθαι ηδονάς, των γούν μιμου- 4 See the anecdotes and proμένων θρήνους ήδέως ακούομεν, verbs in Diog. 68 ; 73; 79 ; 82, Tŵv kar' år hoelav åndws. The and what Galen. Exhort. c. 5, same is found in Plut. Qu. vol. i. 8, K., and Vitruv. vi. Conv. v. 1, 2, 7, p. 674. Here Præf. i., say of his shipwreck. belongs Cic. Tusc. ii. 13, 28. Conf. Exc. e Floril. Joan. Da-,

2 Diog. 89 : táoas HÉVTO! masc. ii. 13, 138.

« PreviousContinue »