Those who rate pleasure as the supreme ideal hold that the Good is found by the senses, but we Stoics maintain that it is found by the understanding, and we assign it to the mind. (Seneca, Epistles 124.2)

— Ward Farnsworth, The Practicing Stoic: A Philosophical User’s Manual

Farnsworth has a new book coming out shortly. As I was pre-ordering that, I decided to get The Practicing Stoic as well, as it was the only one of the “Farnsworth’s Guides” series I hadn’t read yet. As always, it was an enthralling read, and I appreciate his common-sense, non-academic approach — for example, when he casually jettisons Stoic theology as outdated, while proceeding to make the case that Stoic psychology has held up well. This interpretation of Stoicism is one I can comfortably accept. When I saw the above-quoted passage, I laughed. Wait, this is the big disagreement between the Stoics and the Epicureans? Hasn’t this issue essentially been settled since Kant? It’s not either/or, it’s both! The mind and the senses work in tandem! Epicurus’s notion of “pleasure” contains moderation, contemplation, and reflection as well, and as Farnsworth demonstrates, the Stoics weren’t quite the humorless Vulcans they’re made out to be either. I think we can pronounce this philosophical beef squashed and enjoy the best of both schools.