Principal Doctrine 8

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No pleasure is a bad thing in itself, but some pleasures are only obtainable at the cost of excessive troubles.


Epicurus admits that no pleasure is bad, in and of itself; on the other hand, one ought to consider what exactly it is that gives one a particular pleasure, and what the consequences of one's actions might be. Some pleasures, warns Epicurus, are given by things that can ultimately cause pain and anxiety that greatly exceed the pleasure one desired to begin with. Such pleasures, he admonishes, are best avoided.

By establishing this particular criterion, Epicurus lays the groundwork for his subsequent differentiation of desires.

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