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DRN Book IV.

De Rerum Natura - The Classic Poem of Epicurean Philosophy.

Bailey Version   Munro Version

Book IV

o       Epicurus’ teachings bring release from religious fear, and though the limitations of life may seem bitter, it is the best medicine for the soul to realize the natural limits of life.

o       We now turn to discussing “images” (visions), to show that they do not result from seeing ghosts of those who are dead.

o       Illusions do not show that eyesight is fallible; it is the task of reason to process the information they provide.

o       There are many examples of visual illusions, but we fool ourselves; misjudgments are not the fault of the senses but of our processing the information the senses provide.

o       The man who argues that nothing can be known confesses that he himself is ignorant.

o       The ultimate validity of the senses cannot be refuted, because any attempted refutation depends for its proof on the senses.

o       If you cannot explain a seeming contradiction, it is better to accept an incorrect theory than to give up those conclusions that you have already had sufficient facts to verify to be true.

o       Do not reason based on erroneous observations of the facts of reality, or else your conclusions will be erroneous also.

o       Reason is dormant while we sleep, so things seen in dreams cannot be trusted.

o       Eyes were not made to see; nor ankle-bones for walking.

o       Nature did not make eyes for seeing; what is born creates the use.

o       Sleep annuls sensation.

o       Avoid the danger inherent in allowing passionate love to overcome your common sense.

o       Delight comes in a purer form to those who are reasonable in the way they indulge their senses.

o       It is easier to avoid the snares of love than to escape once you are entangled.

o       Romantic love is strongest when based not on passion but on habit, growing stronger over time, like rain wearing away stone.

Bailey Version   Munro Version