"use their natural talents..." - Epicureanism | Epic Swerve

"use their natural talents..."

“Even Epicurus thinks that those who are desirous of honour and glory should not rust in inglorious ease, but use their natural talents in public life for the benefit of the community at large, seeing that they are by nature so constituted that they would be more likely to be troubled and afflicted at inaction, if they did not get what they desired.” — Plutarch

This quotation can be found in the same place as the oft-misunderstood phrase “live unknown.” 1 You can read more about how that phrase is the foundation for a common Argument Against called “Living Unknown Is Parasitic” here.

It’s important because Plutarch was an avowed enemy of epicureanism. “He rejected only Epicureanism absolutely.” 2. And yet still, he is forced to admit that the philosophy of Epicurus enjoins followes to use their natural talents — whatever they may be — in serving their purpose.

  1. α Plutarch’s Moralia, Book XIV Essay 77: Is the Saying “Live in Obscurity” Right? (Ει καλώς είρηται το λάθε βιώσας – An recte dictum sit latenter esse vivendum)
  2. α More on Plutarch on Wikipedia