Pleasure as the Highest Good – a short reading from Epicurus’ ‘Letter to Menoeceus’

Lennox Johnson reading Leave a Comment

Introduction In this passage from the Letter to Menoeceus, Epicurus (341 – 270 B.C.), summarizes two of his most famous ethical doctrines: that death should not be feared and that pleasure is the highest good. However, pleasure for Epicurus is not the indulgence of fine foods, drinking beer, and sex. Pleasure is simply the absence of pain. So for Epicurus, a simple life of quiet contemplation is the most pleasurable and therefore ideal life. Reading Let no one be slow to seek wisdom when he is young nor weary in …