[Latest Updated MP3 Version here] [Vimeo Edition]Of all the original texts that are available from the ancient world, Epicurus’ Letter to Herodotus preserved by. Letter to Herodotus has 52 ratings and 1 review. Epicurus summarizes the key doctrines from “On Nature” (of which only a few fragments have been recovere. curus’ Letter to Herodotus which is faithful to the best manuscript tradition of the text, credits Epicurus with a clear and plausible. (though lamentably fallacious).

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Benny Wijaya rated it really liked it Mar 03, If, on the other hand, epiicurus void were finite, the bodies eepicurus infinite, then the bodies clearly could never be contained in the void. We must not therefore think that it is the air which receives a certain form, under the action of the voice or some other sound. And, first of all, we must admit that nothing can come of that which does not exist; for, were the fact otherwise, then everything would be produced from everything, and there would be no need of any seed.

Still, it would not have had sensation, had it not been somehow confined within the rest of the frame.

Letter to Herodotus by Epicurus

Nor can we help thinking that in this way, by proceeding herodoths from one to the next in order, it is possible by such a progression to arrive in thought at infinity. Another important theme of this letter is the role of physical knowledge in promoting human happiness and negating skepticism and superstition: No further proof is required: At the same time, an atom has not, in any moment perceptible eppicurus the intelligence, a continued movement in the same direction; but rather a series of oscillating movements from which there results, in the last analysis, a continued movement perceptible to the senses.

If then we think that an event could happen in one or other particular way out of several, we shall be as tranquil when we recognize that it actually comes about in more ways than one as if we knew that it happens in this particular way.

He then founded a school in Lampsacus before returning to Athens in BC.

Next, we must by all means stick to our sensations, that is, simply to the present impressions whether of the mind or of any criterion whatever, and similarly to our actual feelings, in order that we may have the means of determining that which needs confirmation and that which is obscure.

What do I say? Book 10 contains the life and doctrines of Epicurus. Not that, if we consider the minute times perceptible by reason alone, the moving body itself arrives at more than one place simultaneously for this too is inconceivablealthough in time perceptible to sense it does arrive simultaneously, however different the point of departure from that conceived by us.


Michael Lloyd-Billington rated it really liked it Apr 27, Again, hearing takes place when a current passes from the object, whether person or thing, which emits voice or sound or noise, or produces the sensation of hearing in any way whatever.

But the rest of the frame, whether the whole of it survives or only a part, no longer has sensation, when once those atoms have departed, which, however few in number, are required to constitute the nature of soul. Epicurus lays down the same principles in the second book of his treatise on Nature, and in his Great Abridgment.

And further, the least and simplest things must be regarded as extremities of lengths, furnishing from themselves as units the means of measuring lengths, whether greater or less, the mental vision being employed, since direct observation is impossible.

He distinguishes in it the irrational part which is diffused over the whole body, from the rational part which has its seat in the chest, as is proved by the emotions of fear and joy. For there is nothing into which it can change; for there is nothing beyond this universal whole which can penetrate into it, and produce any change in it.

Letter to Herodotus

We must not suppose either, that an atom can become visible to us; for, first of all, one does not see that that is the case, and besides, one cannot even conceive, how an atom is to become visible; besides, we must not believe, that in a finite body there are particles of every sort, infinite in number; consequently, on must not only reject the doctrine of infinite divisibility in parcels smaller and smaller, lest we should be reducing everything to nothing, and find ourselves forced to admit, that in a mass composed of a crowd of elements, existence can reduce itself to non-existence.

According to Epicurean cosmology, no Prime Mover nor a teleology governing the movement of matter: Inwood, Brad and Gerson, L. The blow which is struck in us when we utter a sound causes such a displacement of the particles as serves to produce a current resembling breath, and this displacement gives rise to the sensation of hearing. But there are other manners in which phenomena of this kind are produced; for there is nothing in all this which at all contradicts the senses, if one only considers in what way the senses are exercised, and if one is inclined to explain the relation which is established between external objects and ourselves.

One goes on from demonstration to demonstration ad infinitum ; or else one gains herkdotus beyond mere words. This remark applies particularly to the earth. There is therefore, no fact inconsistent with an infinity of worlds.


For the presentations which, for example, are received in a picture or arise in dreams, or from any other form of apprehension by the mind or by the other criteria of truth, would never have resembled what we call the real and true things, had it not been for certain actual things of the kind with which we come in contact.

For every quality changes, but the atoms do not change, since, when the composite bodies are dissolved, there must needs be a permanent something, solid and indissoluble, left behind, which makes change possible: Nor will their upward or their lateral motion, which is due to collisions, nor again their downward motion, due to weight, affect their velocity. Now the sum of things is not discerned by comparison with anything else: But, as it is, both these properties, you see, plainly belong to soul.

At the age of 18 he went to Athens for his two-year term of military service. In the first place, Herodotus, you must understand what it is that words denote, in order that by reference to this we may be in a position to test opinions, inquiries, or problems, so that our proofs may not run on untested ad infinitumnor the terms we use be empty of meaning.

And this is shown by the mental faculties and feelings, by the ease with which the mind moves, and by thoughts, and by all those things the loss of which causes death. Eltter rated it it was amazing May 06, For external things would not stamp heroxotus us their own nature of color and form through the medium of the air which is between them and use or by means of rays of light or currents of any sort going from us to them, so well as by the entrance into our eyes or minds, to whichever their size is suitable, of certain films coming from the things themselves, these films or outlines being of epiicurus same color and shape as the external things themselves.

The rest of the body, on the other hand, even when it remains, either as a whole, or in any part, loses all feeling by the dispersion of that aggregate of atoms, whatever it may be, that forms the soul.