Posts by Mousikos

    I agree with Hiram. I think there is value in saying that Epicurean Philosophy is a specific system of thought within both the Humanist and Hedonist traditions. There are specific and important differences with large parts of those wider traditions, but it is also likely that we can find common ground and allies there.


    I think a friendly approach will benefit us more than an adversarial one in trying to spread the word about Epicurean Philosophy and building communities around that.

    Music therapy, fragrance therapy, chromo therapy, logos therapy, choir therapy. All these are pseudosciences for our manipulation and making us anthropoids of the masses. Pseudosciences, indeed, are doing a great job for making us more idiots.

    As far as music therapy goes, you are wrong. There is scientific research that shows there are valid applications of music therapy, with real, measurable results. For more information, see https://www.musictherapy.org/about/quotes/

    I suppose there are different things that are meant by “therapeutic”. Philodemus said that as far as philosophy, it heals through words, and I think I remember seeing the word logos. I take great pleasure in music, but it seems like the benefits of different kinds of music do not correlate with the benefits of memorizing the healing words of philosophy. These are specifically meant to treat concrete, specific false beliefs like fear of death and of gods, or unlimited desires. The benefits of music do not correlate to this and are non-philosophical. They are different.

    Yes, it could be that Philodemus has a specific meaning of therapeutic in mind. Obviously, philosophy treating specific false ideas is completely different from music treating emotions and facilitating physical healing. Nevertheless, both are demonstrably therapeutic, in their own way.

    So it's not just about being anti idealism, there's a specific therapeutic utility that was being discussed in the Philodeman scroll with regards to music, and he was arguing that music could only heal the soul (through the practices of repetition and memorization, etc.) IF it contained the words of healing philosophy, which were the ones that had the potency to heal.


    And this is what I completely disagree with. There is legitimate music therapy, using instrumental music, that affects moods and feelings, and facilitates physical healing. For some pointers, see https://www.health.harvard.edu…hrough-music-201511058556

    To me, being a cosmopolitan and a humanist does not mean I deny the value of homeland or cultural traditions, or view people through a narrow lens of economics. To me it means that my perspective is more focused on the whole of humanity, rather than on tribal divisions. It means I can feel at home anywhere I meet like-minded people. It means I evaluate all cultures, including those of my homeland, and sift the good from the bad.


    I understand the Greek need for patriotism, as they have a long history of being besieged by foreign forces. But in my view we really need to widen our perspective and strive to work together with all peoples on Earth, if we want to successfully deal with the current problems such as the climate crisis and mega-corporations trampling on human rights and concerns.


    And yes, that cosmopolitan perspective needs to get embodied in local initiatives. I think we need to integrate these two poles, rather than view them as either/or.


    Does that make sense?

    I'm glad to be here. And yes, all the experiences I've had, good and bad, have shaped who I am today.


    I don't claim to be Greek tho. I'm actually Dutch, tho I spent six years in the beautiful city of Thessaloniki. When I was there, I used to live near Moni Vlatadon, and I have fond memories of walking downhill from Ano Poli to the university or the city center. Especially on clear days when you can see Mount Olympus. And the food, and the music... I haven't been there in many years, but I would love to visit again.


    I also spent some years in Finland and England. But now I'm living in China, teaching English since 2010.


    So after all that, I consider myself more of a "global citizen".

    I think this is what is called "archetypes of the collective unconscious" in Jungian psychology.


    Jung cited the example of newborn tiny birds from Galapagos that exhibited panic when a large plane flew over them … but there are no birds of prey that eat that species of tiny birds. Which means they must have inherited this panic instinct from ancestors from South America, who WERE eaten by Condors.

    Having thought a bit more about this, I think this could be related, yes.


    Has anyone else explored connections between Epicurus and Jung?

    Exactly. They can both enhance happiness, and in that they are not fundamentally different. But of course they have a huge difference in magnitude, and in impact on our overall happiness.


    And just to underline your last point:


    Quote from Principle Doctrines 8

    no pleasure is bad in itself

    I just noticed this part. It's good and i would not suggest changing it. But when reading it , it occurs to me that it's possible that it might not be clear what the "nature of knowledge" means in this context. [...] I say this largely because I am always on guard against the implication that "knowledge" is something that exists in the air as part of some network of ideal forms, or something that comes from gods, or even something that we are born with (in our anticipation discussion). I think it's more proper to think of "knowledge" as opinions formed in our minds that we are confident are true.

    I am pondering if there is a better way to phrase this. I certainly wouldn't want to suggest a Platonic understanding of disembodied ideas that exist in an ideal world. But what I am trying to get at in my statement #12, is that while there is no absolute morality, that doesn't mean every moral choice is equally valid, and that we cannot make any valid statements about morality (the typical "if you're an atheist and don't believe there is a god stopping you, why don't you go around raping and killing?" argument).


    Because of what we know about reality, and our naturalist understanding of it, we can formulate certain guidelines that will be generally true for all humans, even if the details vary per individual. Things like: self-delusion is bad, an exclusive focus on short-term pleasure without considering the consequences is bad, only considering your own pleasure regardless of the happiness of other people is bad, etc.

    I totally agree with this article. There is no essential difference between physical, mental, and spiritual pleasures. We experience things because we have a body. Without our body we would not experience anything. Every feeling is embodied. Physical pleasure is not fundamentally different from intellectual pleasure, as we experience it in our body.


    And this is also the problem I have with dualism, which often leads to undervaluing the physical experience and even demonizing our bodily nature. There is nothing inherently bad ("sinful") about enjoying the pleasures of good food or good sex. There is no "higher" form of happiness than the one we experience in our body, in this life.

    I would need to delve deeper into Epicurus' usage of prolepsis, but I cannot imagine he would have meant abstract ideas (conceptual reasoning). It seems unnecessary and unexpected to slap a word like prolepsis onto that.


    Let me just mention before I head to bed, that I consider the idea of the blank slate to be scientifically indefensible. My thinking on this matter has very much been formed by Steven Pinker's book The Blank Slate.


    https://stevenpinker.com/publications/blank-slate

    https://www.ted.com/talks/stev…_it_up_to_the_blank_slate