Paquin Level 03
  • Member since Jul 19th 2021
  • Last Activity:

Posts by Paquin

    Interesting! I never knew that Tolkein had created such a framing device for his work, but I can see that it makes a lot of sense that he would. LotR is like A Few Days in Athens in that they both seem to have been written to supply a text that the authors wish had existed, but since the texts are in reality absent, Tolkein and Wright step in to supply them. The books are presented as found texts, as that is what both authors would actually have prefered in a way.

    There is a long tradition of authors posing as editors of found manuscripts. Robinson Crusoe was originally published with Robinson Crusoe given as the author so original readers thought they were reading a real account.

    The pleasure/fun of Wright posing as someone who has received the found manuscript is the conceit of veracity, plus there is the added layer consisting of the reactions of the authorities to the Italian scholar i.e. that this text contains ideas that have frequently been seen as seditious.

    To add to the interesting list of precocious young scholars provided by JJElbert, I would also suggest the young Elizabeth Tudor who would become Queen Elizabeth I. She was translating into Latin, French and Italian at the age of 12. She also translated from Greek. Here was a pre-teen able to read Lucretius and Epicurus in the original.

    I enjoyed today's discussion of the meaning of the seeds arising and the geocentric model of the universe. I have enjoyed reading along with this podcast and my understanding of the poem has been greatly enriched by following the discussion. I don't believe that I would ul

    The discussion on causes of fires in forests was interesting. It reminded me of the local largely, beech forest where I often go walking. During the coronavirus lockdowns when I was hiking there a lot, there is one place where when we went off on a little-used path we started to hear these strange eerie calls as we climbed up out of the valley that gave me goosebumps. At first I thought it might be wild pigs as we discovered this amazing system of wallows just 20m above the main path that I had never known was there, but in the end we realised it was the sound of branches high up in the trees rubbing together in the wind, which down on the forest floor was a lot less noticeable. I have heard the noise again in that part of the forest and have never heard it anywhere else, so it seems to be a relatively rare phenomenon at least round my way, but I think that in the right circumstances e.g. drought and high winds, that the friction that produced those sounds could lead to a fire.

    I really enjoyed the discussion of the Zeno paradoxes in this episode and the extra context that the discussion of the ideas of Paramenides gave to the listener. The information about the ancient Greeks and calculus was brilliant. Also as a walker I love the phrase 'solvitur ambulando' (it is solved by walking) and I remembered I had read that it had been used to counter the paradox - 'Diogenes the Cynic is said to have have replied to Zeno's paradoxes on the unreality of motion by standing up and walking away' (from wiki entry on Solvitur ambulando). I like the idea that Diogenes just walked off in response.

    I also appreciated the advice in the podcast for people who might be faced with logical paradoxes in the future, especially for the people who might not be able to marshal up enough logic of their own to counter them - it was like you guys were talking directly to me! I feel I am being prepared for a dangerous philosophical world out there, full of potential traps and false detours.

    Thank you for sharing your views on the episode. I am also working my way through the doctrine and am on PD3

    PD3 The limit of quantity in pleasures is the removal of all that is painful. Wherever pleasure is present, as long as it is there, there is neither pain of body, nor of mind, nor of both at once.

    This phrase 'the removal of all that is painful' does seem to suggest to me a more tranquil state of affairs than violent delight, so to speak, but I am not focusing on this at the moment. And I appreciate the guidance in the form of helping me see the bigger picture.

    I was thinking I was supposed to post a kind of review of the podcast, which was rather daunting. I'm glad you have done it instead.

    I thoroughly enjoyed the beauty of the language in the translations (with the exception of the word 'sweaty') and the vividness of Lucretius' images. I began to feel more aware of the text as a poem and the pleasures that type of text brings. I'm finally seeing that the choice of poetic form is a wonderful one, that promotes the reader's enjoyment of the text. I admit to a slight nose-wrinkle at the idea of combining an Epicurean textbook with poetry before setting off, but now I'm hooked.

    My favourite section is the giant human able to wade through the waters of the sea. It shows how we humans love the fantastical.

    I now want to listen how some of the poem sounds in Latin, even though my Latin is on a 'Caeceleus est pater' level.


    In Our Time

    Angie Hobbs, David Sedley and James Warren join Melvyn Bragg to discuss Epicureanism, the system of philosophy based on the teachings of Epicurus and founded in Athens in the fourth century BC. Epicurus outlined a comprehensive philosophical system based on the idea that everything in the Universe is constructed from two phenomena: atoms and void. At the centre of his philosophy is the idea that the goal of human life is pleasure, by which he meant not luxury but the avoidance of pain. His followers were suspicious of marriage and politics but placed great emphasis on friendship. Epicureanism became influential in the Roman world, particularly through Lucretius's great poem De Rerum Natura, which was rediscovered and widely admired in the Renaissance.


    Angie Hobbs

    Professor of the Public Understanding of Philosophy at the University of Sheffield

    David Sedley

    Laurence Professor of Ancient Philosophy at the University of Cambridge

    James Warren

    Reader in Ancient Philosophy at the University of Cambridge

    Producer: Thomas Morris.

    Thank you for your helpful responses! I will definitely take a look at these links and discussions. Personally, I am drawn to the complexity of the thinking in this area and the idea of trying to salvage something from religious practice while rejecting the abusive, since it seems to reflect something of my own evolving thoughts on religion.