Vatican Saying 27

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A sublime, yet also readily credible assertion regarding the benefits of philosophy: all other occupations reward their practitioner after a task is completed; the baker has bread only after it comes out of the oven, the fisherman has a day's catch only after he pulls up his nets from the sea. Yet in the singular case of philosophy, the process and pleasure of acquiring knowledge are concurrent, simultaneous.

Thus Epicurus intertwines inextricably his teachings on the general value of philosophy, with all its salubrious effects of ridding us of false beliefs, and his teachings on pleasure. Philosophy is not just good for us; it is also a pleasure, and therefore an oikeion agathon, a "familiar good" that we ought to happily espouse.

This is one of the most optimistic tenets of Epicureanism and stands in sharp contradistinction to the more common attitudes (of antiquity and the present age) that regard philosophy as a stern, grave, strenuous occupation.

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