Welcome Cyryl!

  • Hello and welcome to the forum cyryl !

    This is the place for students of Epicurus to coordinate their studies and work together to promote the philosophy of Epicurus. Please remember that all posting here is subject to our Community Standards / Rules of the Forum our Not Neo-Epicurean, But Epicurean and our Posting Policy statements and associated posts.

    Please understand that the leaders of this forum are well aware that many fans of Epicurus may have sincerely-held views of what Epicurus taught that are incompatible with the purposes and standards of this forum. This forum is dedicated exclusively to the study and support of people who are committed to classical Epicurean views. As a result, this forum is not for people who seek to mix and match some Epicurean views with positions that are inherently inconsistent with the core teachings of Epicurus.

    All of us who are here have arrived at our respect for Epicurus after long journeys through other philosophies, and we do not demand of others what we were not able to do ourselves. Epicurean philosophy is very different from other viewpoints, and it takes time to understand how deep those differences really are. That's why we have membership levels here at the forum which allow for new participants to discuss and develop their own learning, but it's also why we have standards that will lead in some cases to arguments being limited, and even participants being removed, when the purposes of the community require it. Epicurean philosophy is not inherently democratic, or committed to unlimited free speech, or devoted to any other form of organization other than the pursuit by our community of happy living through the principles of Epicurean philosophy.

    One way you can be most assured of your time here being productive is to tell us a little about yourself and personal your background in reading Epicurean texts. It would also be helpful if you could tell us how you found this forum, and any particular areas of interest that you have which would help us make sure that your questions and thoughts are addressed.

    In that regard we have found over the years that there are a number of key texts and references which most all serious students of Epicurus will want to read and evaluate for themselves. Those include the following.

    1. The Biography of Epicurus By Diogenes Laertius (Chapter 10). This includes all Epicurus' letters and the Authorized Doctrines. Supplement with the Vatican list of Sayings.
    2. "Epicurus And His Philosophy" - Norman DeWitt
    3. "On The Nature of Things"- Lucretius
    4. Cicero's "On Ends" - Torquatus Section
    5. Cicero's "On The Nature of the Gods" - Velleius Section
    6. The Inscription of Diogenes of Oinoanda - Martin Ferguson Smith translation
    7. A Few Days In Athens" - Frances Wright
    8. Lucian Core Texts on Epicurus: (1) Alexander the Oracle-Monger, (2) Hermotimus
    9. Plato's Philebus
    10. Philodemus "On Methods of Inference" (De Lacy version, including his appendix on relationship of Epicurean canon to Aristotle and other Greeks)
    11. "The Greeks on Pleasure" -Gosling & Taylor Sections on Epicurus, especially on katastematic and kinetic pleasure.

    It is by no means essential or required that you have read these texts before participating in the forum, but your understanding of Epicurus will be much enhanced the more of these you have read.

    And time has also indicated to us that if you can find the time to read one book which will best explain classical Epicurean philosophy, as opposed to most modern "eclectic" interpretations of Epicurus, that book is Norman DeWitt's Epicurus And His Philosophy.

    Welcome to the forum!



  • Hello Cyril. I presume given choice of user name that I recognize you from the past.

    I hope you are doing well, but we do have the forum rules in place for a reason. Will move you to level two - watching but not participating.

    If something changes in your perspective in the future, feel free to send me a private message here and we can reevaluate.

    Note for forum regulars:

    I think all of us who are the type of person for whom this forum is targeted know the basic issues, and we are either open-minded or more or less firmly in the camp of holding that pleasure including both tranquility plus the "active" pleasures, as DeWitt argues, and not just simply the amorphously Buddhist-like "absence of pain."

    Another way of looking at this is that in Epicurus' terms, "pleasure" includes at least what it is generally thought by normal people to include, plus more. The opposite and regrettably majority position is that "pleasure" means less than, or foreign to, what normal people think it includes. That's the direction taken by those who consider Epicurus to be kin to the Stoics, and others schools of that persuasion, and that's why they find offensive the interpretations of DeWitt, and Nikolsky, and Gosling & Taylor, and others I could list.

    But rather than delete the account, this can serve to remind regular readers of the reason for the forum rules. There are many opportunities for people like Cyryl to discuss their views elsewhere on the internet. On the other hand, there is only one group (that I know of) dedicated to what we are trying to do here in building a positive community of people who think Epicurus meant everything he said about pleasure.

    So that's why it has seemed best to keep a tight leash on this aspect of the argument. It is too easy for casual users to think that anti-Dewitt interpretation is the only one available, and get demoralized before they understand the big picture and the issues at stake.


    Update: After a further private exchange, Cyryl is no longer with us.

  • Cassius

    Closed the thread.