peace and/or joy

by Andrea Elizabeth

Aristotle East and West Ch.3, “Between Aristotle and Plotinus”, ‘Energeia in the Hellenistic Schools’

Another early occurrence is in a fragmentary statement of Epicurus distinguishing different kinds of pleasure: “freedom from disturbance and absence of pain are static pleasures, but joy and delight are regarded as kinetic activities. Epicurus is concerned here to distinguish between static pleasures and those involving motion or change. As he makes clear elsewhere, katastematic pleasures are not merely those which do not consist in or require change; they also do not depend on external stimulus, having their source in the constitution of the organism itself. It is interesting that Epicurus associates this kind of pleasure with privative states such as freedom from disturbance and absence of pain, rather than with activity. In this he differs from Aristotle, who associates pleasure with completed activity. It thus seems fair to say that, although Epicurus adopts Aristotelian terminology, he does so in the service of an un-Aristotelian conclusion.

When one turns to the Stoics one finds many occurrences of the term within ancient testimonia, but none that can be identified with certainty as deriving from the Stoics themselves. […] and they are in any case of little philosophical interest. The more prominent Hellenistic schools thus provide only meager results for a study of energeia. […] There is no hint of the Aristotelian use of energeia to mean actuality, nor of the contrast with kenesis. […] In the next section I will discuss this general ignorance or neglect within the context of the term’s occurrence in other types of Hellenistic literature. For now let us turn to Theophrastus, who more than anyone else represents the direct continuation of the Aristotelian tradition. (p. 47,48)