Table of Contents:
But Plato, in his Philebus, says—“Pleasure is the most insolent of all things; and, as it is reported, in amatory enjoyments, which are said to be the most powerful of all, even perjury has been pardoned by the Gods, as if pleasure was like a child, incapable of distinguishing between right and wrong.” And in the eighth book of his Polity, the same Plato has previously dilated upon the doctrine so much pressed by the Epicureans, that, of the desires, some are natural but not necessary, and others neither natural nor necessary, writing thus—“Is not the desire to eat enough for health and strength of body, and for bread and meat to that extent, a necessary desire?—I think it is.—At all events, the desire for food for these two purposes is necessary, inasmuch as it is salutary, and inasmuch as it is able to remove hunger? —No doubt.—And the desire for meat, too, is a necessary desire, if it at all contributes to a good habit of body?— Most undoubtedly.—What, then, are we to say? Is no desire which goes beyond the appetite for this kind of food, and for other food similar to it, and which, if it is checked in young people, can be entirely stifled, and which is injurious also to the body, and injurious also to the mind, both as far as its intellectual powers are concerned, and also as to its temperance, entitled to be called a necessary one?—Most certainly not.”
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.