A Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology

Smith, William

A Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology. William Smith, LLD, ed. 1890

2. The next point is to determine what is pleasure and what pain. Both are positive, i. e. pleasure is not the gratification of a want, nor does the absence of pleasure equal pain. The absence of either is a mere negative inactive state, and both pleasure and pain are motions of the soul (ἐν κινήσει). Pain was defined to be a violent, pleasure a moderate motion,--the first being compared to the sea in a storm, the second to the sea under a light breeze, the intermediate state of no-pleasure and no-pain to a calm--a simile not quite apposite, since a calm is not the middle state between a storm and a gentle breeze. In this denial of pleasure as a state of rest, we find Aristippus again opposed to Epicurus.