General Comments On Use of AFDIA As A Book Review / Organizational Theme For Meetings

  • I meant to set up this thread earlier to highlight the potential use of AFDIA as an organizational theme for a local Book Review Club or even "Meetup Group." That's one reason that we are posting the audio highlights of our 2022 Spring Zoom Book Review on Youtube, so that people in the future can compare notes and use this as an example for their own "local" program (either locally live or via internet).

    Here is a playlist of the sessions that have been recorded so far:

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    When we get to the end of the series - only a few weeks away as I write this - please help me to remember to include as a "summary" session a discussion of the topics that are included here: General Discussion of "A Few Days In Athens"

    IN PARTICULAR it would be good to cover this article of criticism, which I think contains many good points:

  • Cassius

    Changed the title of the thread from “Use of AFDIA As A Book Review / Organizational Theme For Meetings” to “General Comments On Use of AFDIA As A Book Review / Organizational Theme For Meetings”.
  • Joshua - This is to help me remember to ask you about the source of that information that William Short saved someone (or was saved) from a flooding stream.

    That is the first real evidence (speculative though it is to construe it that way) of "cross-pollination" of ideas among Frances Wright and her European friends. I suppose that the idea of dedicating the book to Jeremy Bentham might be another.

    The reason this topic comes to mind again is that I read to the end of the book again today to assist in preparing the final chapters, and I was struck that the final chapter was a lot deeper than I remembered. I had our it down in my mind as mainly a broadside against religion, but upon rereading it is almost a "Torquatus-like" summary of many points of the philosophy.

    One of the subjects I would like us to cover upon completing the book is this general question I have always had: what do we make of Wright, who has such a commanding understanding of Epicurean philosophy, seemingly devoting so little of the rest of her life to spreading it further?

    Is her apparent example something we will all end up following ourselves? Having identified so clearly the details of a philosophy that was so relatively unknown, why not pursue it further?

    Was the obstacle of religion so strong in her day that more reconstruction could not be practically attempted? Was she temperamentally more of an activist herself, and was she herself not convinced of the practicality of the approach? I am sure there are other possibilities I am not naming and I am very interested in hearing what others may think.

    All of this can and should wait til we get to the end, but I hope those who are interested in the topic will be thinking about it.

    Heres a good bio page which does not even mention AFDIA:

    Wright, Frances - Freethought Trail - New York

    We need to do some "textual criticism" and historical snooping of our own. Where was Wright and what was she doing during the years when AFDIA must have been written?

    My standard disclaimer:. I have no intention or thought of taking any credit away from Wright. My exclusive interest is in unearthing more insightful writing on Epicurus. If others were in any way collaborating in any of the preparation of AFDIA, then we may have the ability to find more perceptive writing by others on Epicurus, and the more the better!

  • Hmmm...

    Here was my original thread on the subject:

    Here's a secondary source:

    And a passage from that source:


    In 1790, on a cold and windy day some time before the French Revolution had turned on liberal nobles such as the due, William and his love were out canoeing on a pond by the Seine when Short dove overboard and nearly lost consciousness in saving a boy from drowning in rapids. The hero had then returned to the due’s chateau, dined, “quaffed old Malvoisie & other wines to a degree that astonished everybody,” and played chess “with great success,” before drifting into a sweet sleep.