Article: Norman DeWitt - "Epicurean Kinetics" (Examining a Passage on Motion To Illuminate the Canon of Truth)

  • A recent discussion about Norman DeWitt's abilities as a translator prompts me to post this 1941 article from "Classical Philology" entitled "Epicurean Kinetics." The title sounds like it is focused on motion, but the real issue under review is the "Canon of Truth." DeWitt attacks the conventional translation of several important passages in the Letter to Herodotus and suggests new interpretations with much different implications.

    Full article here:


  • Yes!!

    Now I'm getting why you all have the affinity you do for DeWitt's work! The statement in this paper that stood out for me was:


    I think it best to print the Greek text, which is undisputed, and to build up a version piecemeal

    THIS is what I've been waiting for in Epicurus and His Philosophy (EaHP)!

    Unfortunately, he seems to, for the most part, avoid this "building up" in that work. I realize EaHP is geared toward a more "popular" audience so in-depth erudite step by step arguments seem to have been put aside in favor of mere assertion on some points. Plus, he adulterated that work with the "Epicureanism in Christianity" stuff which seems superfluous to me but which Cassius had good arguments for DeWitt's inclusion that make sense to me. I don't necessarily accept DeWitt's assertions on those, but I get why he probably put them in (in addition to his obviously believing they're in the New Testament).

    But these papers of DeWitt's are great! I have greatly enjoyed reading them! He is definitely striking a blow for Epicurus!