Talk:Principal Doctrine 1

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Aristotle seems to use makarios and eudaimon as virtual synonyms (despite the quasi-religious, "transitive" sense of the former, as discussed in the Comments to this Doctrine). If one goes along with this --and I, for one, do-- much confusion is happily dispelled, and the salient discussion can continue past this hurdle.

Arius (48.6-11) writes eis tauto syndrameitai of the two words (i.e. converges into one and the same thing), continuing with tois telikois (to/into/among things final). Annas finds this final bit "meaningless" (The Morality of Happiness, p.44). I am not entirely sure it is so. Both Wachsmuth and Usener offer alternatives and (often radical) emendations of the text but, again, I don't think that such are necessary. A logical reading would be, by a simple "ironing out" of common inverted syntax: as regards end-goals, makariotes and eudaimonia boil down to entirely the same thing. Why not?

Annas does agree, however, with the actual meaning of Arius' words and, by "backdated extension", Aristotle's view on the equivalency of being makarios and/or eudaimon. On this, we all agree. This is, I believe, the correct reading of this Principal Doctrine 1. Perhaps Epicurus opted for the quasi-religious makarios, as he was speaking after all about gods.

Can this doctrine be also understood as a recomendation for Epicureans? Something along the lines: "If you want to achieve a 'blessed' state, don't add unnecessary troubles for yourself, and for other people". Some scholars claim, that gods for Epicurus were ideal models to contemplate and to try immitate. Of course, people can not immitate the indestructability of the gods, but they at least can achieve ataraxia.

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