Epicurus II

Epicurus explains (in the Letter to Menoeceus) that when he considers pleasure the basis of happiness he does not mean the pleasures of the profligate or the dissolute but rather the state of being physically free of pain and mentally without anxiety. And, since the bulk of his writing was in science and natural phenomena, we can guess that Epicurus was being honest. The goal of life, according to Epicurus, was to reduce needs to greater self-sufficiency so that the absence of luxuries is not painful. Pleasure comes from simple things; even bread and water is a pleasure to one who is hungry. Epicurus tells us that he does not drink, dance, pursue sexual pleasure or eat too much fish (132a) — not because there is anything wrong with them but because they will bring pain if indulged.
Epicurus reminds us of a voyeur, a burned Pavlovian dog, an old man who has learned his lessons the hard way but only minimally. Not much wisdom or insight for either the profligate or the wise, certainly not the solitary. The young and healthy have de facto license under his advice. Perhaps the modern term “Epicurianism” gives him too much credit.