Charles' Glossary and Translations of Obscure Epicurean Books

  • As I have been busy telling others about this forum and looking everywhere I can for Epicurean figures throughout history, I have elected to make a thread detailing my findings, and will be continually updated whenever I come across a new promising lead. Consider this a list of even the smallest literary or bibliographical references to Epicurean Philosophy.

    “If the joys found in nature are crimes, then man’s pleasure and happiness is to be criminal.”

  • Well, after revising the first edition of the 31 original paragraphs found in Mettrie's "The System of Epicurus", I stumbled across an English translation, however, I find that some sections are a bit misleading and the translator took many liberties.

    I've corrected a few of my translations as a result, but my translation process has been checking every single word I'm not familiar with in dictionaries, thesauruses, google, yandex, and collins translating for numerous synonyms or if they are simply nouns or rather, verbs, thus changing the entire context of each sentence. Since French is a Romance Language based on Latin, its syntax is seen as "backwards in order" compared to our Germanic language, this seemed to be problematic for even the translator before me.

    As far as my actual knowledge of French: I was incorporated into a Spanish (Latin based) speaking step-family at a young age, listening to hours of opera and reading librettos with their English translations next to them, and one of my exes was fluent in French and she taught me over the course of a few years.

    “If the joys found in nature are crimes, then man’s pleasure and happiness is to be criminal.”

  • You will link that here when you post it?

    Yes, of course. Both will be on google docs, one with the French above it with some annotations, the other formatted in just English.

    “If the joys found in nature are crimes, then man’s pleasure and happiness is to be criminal.”

  • I don't know where to put this but when looking for info on Asclepiades of Bithynia I found this article from our Epicurean Friend Christos Yapijakis. http://iv.iiarjournals.org/content/23/4/507.full

    Edit: Just noticed that Elli had shared this article to the FB group last year in January.

    “If the joys found in nature are crimes, then man’s pleasure and happiness is to be criminal.”

  • Found two books by obscure French Philosopher Jean-Marie Guyau (1854-1888) who was seen as an Epicurean.

    "Mémoire sur la morale utilitaire depuis Epicure jusqu'à l'ecole anglaise" (Memoir on Utilitarian morals from Epicurus to the English School)

    and

    "La Morale d’Épicure et ses rapports avec les doctrines contemporaines" (The Morals of Epicurus and its relation to contemporary doctrines)

    https://fr.wikisource.org/wiki/La_Morale_d’Épicure_et_ses_rapports_avec_les_doctrines_contemporaines/Texte_entier

    “If the joys found in nature are crimes, then man’s pleasure and happiness is to be criminal.”

  • Since I'm not making much headway on the current translation of Mettrie, I'm releasing the first edition that consists of the first 31 paragraphs. It's only in minor relation to Epicurean Philosophy, as Mettrie later added much more in his book "Philosophical Works", of which the later additions were first implemented into his earlier book "Anti-Seneca". But I hope that it provides the mindset of Mettrie, who revolutionized materialism, revived interest in Epicurus and inspired the likes of both Frederick the Great and the Marquis de Sade, and all those who would look to Epicurus in the Enlightenment Era.

    Google Doc Version, my preferred method
    https://docs.google.com/docume…1ol1ULh0/edit?usp=sharing

    Google Published Version, like Vaughn's textbook from that thread
    https://docs.google.com/docume…IkjyLd1M7sXWh4EeOOYww/pub

    Edit: My notes and citations are on my "master thread" detailing all 93 paragraphs, this new published doesn't have them.

    “If the joys found in nature are crimes, then man’s pleasure and happiness is to be criminal.”

  • Charles

    Changed the title of the thread from “Charles' Glossary and Translations of Forgotten Epicurean Books” to “Charles' Glossary and Translations of Obscure Epicurean Books”.
  • Lodging this in here for future use - some rare works from Guillaume Lamy, an un-apologetically Epicurean Physician who deviated from Gassendi and opted instead to turn to Lucretius, (Lamy) who would later inspire a certain Julien Offray de la Mettrie to uphold the hedonistic values of Epicurus rather than, as my academic sources say "natural sciences and simple mental pleasures through the removal of pain" (despite Mettrie being a Physcian and Materialist *of course he values natural science!*).

    The books are:
    "Explication Mechanique et Physique des Fonctions de L'Ame Sensitive; ou Des Sens, Des Passions. Et du Mouvement Volontaire. Ou l'on a ajoute une Description des organes des Sens."

    (will add them later)

    https://drive.google.com/file/…HpRWqCWw/view?usp=sharing

    “If the joys found in nature are crimes, then man’s pleasure and happiness is to be criminal.”

  • There's not much from Lamy. It's clear from academic sources that Lamy was Christian and didn't deviate from Medicine, and that's where Mettrie comes in, and is very adamant about returning to Lucretius and bringing him back with him to the Enlightenment.

    As a side note, Mettrie also mentions Ninon de Lenclos a fair amount of times, and I'd like to get started right away on his "Anti-Seneca" book when I get home from work tomorrow. The context of that one is that he was offered to write a biography about Seneca to restore his reputation, but chose instead to refine and even criticize Stoicism.

    “If the joys found in nature are crimes, then man’s pleasure and happiness is to be criminal.”

  • No, I've only found footnotes and citations. But my English copy arrives tomorrow, in addition to just about everything he wrote (all translated in English). I'd like to write them out on a google doc or pdf and share them here.

    Edit: that also includes Discourse on Happiness, which he considered his masterpiece

    “If the joys found in nature are crimes, then man’s pleasure and happiness is to be criminal.”

  • Charles: Do you know yet, in outline, the basis for saying how he deviated from Gassendi?


    " for future use - some rare works from Guillaume Lamy, an un-apologetically Epicurean Physician who deviated from Gassendi and opted instead to turn to Lucretius,"

  • Charles: Do you know yet, in outline, the basis for saying how he deviated from Gassendi?

    The only evidence for a claim is that Lamy was very much interested in the Physics of Epicurean Philosophy and applied the physics to his medical & chemical work, including the soul. He was frustrated over how Gassendi had "watered-down" Epicurus' Atomism and tried to bring it back to its original form, despite being Christian in the same way Gassendi was, I can't say whether or not (yet) he looked to Lucretius like Mettrie did, though the latter was also taught by Herman Boerhaave, who took a mechanistic approach to medicine.

    “If the joys found in nature are crimes, then man’s pleasure and happiness is to be criminal.”