Someone Who Understands What Makes Epicurean Philosophy Unique.

  • The excerpt below is not directed at Nietzsche or Al-Razi, but it contains an independent insight that is worth taking out of that context. This paragraph points to what really makes Epicurus unique and important - not his ethics, but his insight into the nature of the universe. "Positing only material atoms and the void, the Epicureans attempt to account for all being, knowledge, and value without relying upon any “supernatural” explanatory entities." Without this foundation, the ethics lead nowhere:

  • Very good! George Santayana put it this way;


    This double experience of mutation and recurrence, an experience at once sentimental and scientific, soon brought with it a very great thought, perhaps the greatest thought that mankind has ever hit upon, and which was the chief inspiration of Lucretius. It is that all we observe about us, and ourselves also, may be so many passing forms of a permanent substance.

    "The greatest thought mankind has ever hit upon."

    It can be difficult to appreciate from this distance what a revolution in human thought this was.

  • Here is a very informative response from a FB poster:

    "Second sailing or second voyage" is an Ancient Greek sailing proverb; "when the wind fails, we use the oars." Plato uses the term in Phaedo 99d. He claims that the physicists were not able to satisfy him regarding the true causes of nature. He finds a clue in Anaxagoras' notion of mind (nous) and believes dialectic can take him the rest of the way. Hence, the move from the natural power of the wind to the artificial power of the oars. I think it is correct to characterize Epicureanism as rejecting the second voyage. Addressing Plato's concerns regarding the failure of the Physicist to explain adequately the causes of nature would surely have been one of Epicurus' key objectives.