more from Sextus Empiricus

Single Idea 22756

[catalogued under 22. Metaethics / C. The Good / 2. Happiness / d. Routes to happiness]

Full Idea

If the desire for wealth or health is desirable, we ought not to purse wealth or health, lest by acquiring them we cease to desire them any longer.

Gist of Idea

If a desire is itself desirable, then we shouldn't desire it, as achieving it destroys it


Sextus Empiricus (Against the Ethicists (one book) [c.180], II.81)

Book Reference

Sextus Empiricus: 'Against the Physicists/Against the Ethicists', ed/tr. Bury,R.G. [Harvard Loeb 1997], p.425

A Reaction

He is investigating whether desires can be desirable, and if so which ones. Roots of this are in Plato's 'Gorgias' on drinking water. Similar to 'if compassion is the highest good then we need lots of suffering'. Desire must be a means, not an end.