more from Lucretius

Single Idea 5730

[catalogued under 22. Metaethics / A. Ethics Foundations / 2. Source of Ethics / e. Human nature]

Full Idea

Nothing in our bodies was born in order that we might be able to use it, but the thing born creates the use.

Gist of Idea

Our bodies weren't created to be used; on the contrary, their creation makes a use possible


Lucretius (On the Nature of the Universe [c.60 BCE], IV.834)

Book Reference

Lucretius: 'On the Nature of the Universe', ed/tr. Latham,Ronald [Penguin 1951], p.156

A Reaction

This remark (strongly opposed to Aristotle's view of human function and nature) raises the obvious question of why the body is so very useful for staying alive. Most of its uses are not random. Lucretius would abandon this view if he read Darwin.