Plato's Examination of Pleasure
Cambridge University Press: 1958. Second edition. Hardcover in dust jacket.
"What is the origin of pleasure? Her natural seat is the mixed class, in which health and harmony were placed. Pain is the violation, and pleasure the restoration of limit. There is a natural union of finite and infinite, which in hunger, thirst, heat, cold, is impaired—this is painful, but the return to nature, in which the elements are restored to their normal proportions, is pleasant. Here is our first class of pleasures. And another class of pleasures and pains are hopes and fears; these are in the mind only. And inasmuch as the pleasures are unalloyed by pains and the pains by pleasures, the examination of them may show us whether all pleasure is to be desired, or whether this entire desirableness is not rather the attribute of another class. But if pleasures and pains consist in the violation and restoration of limit, may there not be a neutral state, in which there is neither dissolution nor restoration? That is a further question, and admitting, as we must, the possibility of such a state, there seems to be no reason why the life of wisdom should not exist in this neutral state, which is, moreover, the state of the gods, who cannot, without indecency, be supposed to feel either joy or sorrow."