What Do You Take From The "Golden Mean" of Aristotle?

  • And I've also got another thought... and an obvious one as well.

    We already know (from science) that our body possesses multiple happiness hormones. In order to feel ourselves truly happy, we have to "activate" them- and that means acting across different spheres! At least according to this website. So in order to feel good, we have to work out (endorphins), social communication (endorphins and dopamine), going outside (serotonin), intimate connection (oxytocin), etc. If I truly want to feel happy, then I have to activate all of these hormones.

    To be honest, thats what I've noticed myself: only sitting at my table and binging YouTube means that my reserve of dopamine will get depleted very quickly, and I won't have any happiness feeling at the end. In contrast, when I go for a walk with my dog, I feel pretty good after that- but it's not the same feeling as when I binge YouTube.

    That's an obvious thought, but I haven't thought of happiness hormones at all! I simply forgot that we had different hormones for different stuff, and tried only to active my dopamine reserve (which obviously failed). And that, in turn, led me to doubt Epicureanism. But the man was right in the end, although he couldn't knew of happiness hormones and stuff.

  • stuff, and tried only to active my dopamine reserve (which obviously failed). And that, in turn, led me to doubt Epicureanism.

    I guess what you mean here is that you simply pursued whatever you found pleasing, without regard to ultimate consequences, so you were ignoring Epicurus' clear statement to look to the ultimate result?

    If that's what you mean, then ultimately concluding Epicurus was right did not need to be tied to an understanding of dopamine or any other detailed science that was not available to him.

    Do I misunderstand your reasoning and how you reached your conclusion?

  • Well, you in some sense misunderstand it, but I can't really say why or when. Ill have to think about it...

  • Wow, a lot has happened in the last 24 hours... welp. Anyway, I had two thoughts when reading Kalosyni 's post:

    1) "Epicureanism lite" - for people with less time or inclination to study

    2) "Epicureanism engaged" - for people who want to put in serious study

    3) "Epicurean guardians and guides" - for people who want to maintain the accuracy of the teachings and teach others

    That's a good point- but are there enough interested people to divide them in groups?

    This morning as I write this, I notice...Oh what a difference a solid good night of sleep makes! As well as a sunny morning with crystal blue skies! But there is still more than these simple pleasures to discover and cultivate in Epicureanism

    Actually, I had this feeling just yesterday, when I went out and enjoyed the sunny nature (we're living right next to a park), the birds flying around, the nature vibrating and living... and at this moment, Taoism came to my mind, with its focus on calmness and simply enjoyment of the things around. But then I asked myself- would I be willing to sacrifice my friends, the moments of excitement and pleasure, for calm awe before Nature for the rest of my life? And, to be honest, probably not.

    That's an issue I generally have with the contesting philosophies- they all have some wisdom behind, they all look at life in a certain light, and each way of thinking is correct in itself. But when applying it on a given situation, it shows its weakness. Stoicism is great when you're a POW and have to hold out- but in everyday life? Nope, thanks. Taoism is fantastic if you're a monk in a Himalayan monastery- but is it applicable when you're at a party with friends, where your calmness is out of place? Nope. Christianity is great when you're in a church, together with friends praying to God- but is it good when you're at home, thinking whether or not you will go to Hell? I wouldn't like that.

    So far, Epicureanism is the only philosophy I see which has coherent answers to all of these problems- enjoy the parties, respect the Nature and enjoy the sunlight, but don't fear Hell, as there isn't any. Great stuff!

  • Cassius

    Changed the title of the thread from “What do you mean from the "Golden Mean" of Aristotle?” to “What Do You Take From The "Golden Mean" of Aristotle?”.