previous next
[12] And ( α) no one would choose to retain the mind of a child throughout his life, even though he continued to enjoy the pleasures of childhood with undiminished zest; nor ( δ) would anyone choose to find enjoyment in doing some extremely shameful act, although it would entail no painful consequences. Also ( ε) there are many things which we should be eager to possess even if they brought us no pleasure, for instance sight, memory, knowledge, virtue. It may be the case that these things are necessarily attended by pleasure, but that makes no difference; for we should desire them even if no pleasure resulted from them.

[13] It seems therefore that pleasure is not the Good, and that not every pleasure is desirable, but also that there are certain pleasures, superior in respect of their specific quality or their source, that are desirable in themselves.

Let this suffice for a discussion of the current views about pleasure and pain. 4.

We may ascertain the nature and quality of pleasure more clearly if we start again from the beginning.

Now the act of sight appears to be perfect at any moment of its duration; it does not require anything to supervene later in order to perfect its specific quality. But pleasure also appears to be a thing of this nature. For it is a whole, and one cannot at any moment put one's hand on a pleasure which will only exhibit its specific quality perfectly if its duration be prolonged. [2]

It follows also that pleasure is not a form of motion.1 For every motion or process of change involves duration,

1 κίνησις here has its wider sense of any process of change that actualizes what is potentially; it includes generation, of which building is an instance. In its proper sense κίνησις is limited to change of quality, quantity, or place.

load focus Greek (J. Bywater)
hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: