Welcome to Episode 193 of Lucretius Today. This is a podcast dedicated to the poet Lucretius, who wrote "On The Nature of Things," the only complete presentation of Epicurean philosophy left to us from the ancient world. Each week we walk you through the Epicurean texts, and we discuss how Epicurean philosophy can apply to you today. If you find the Epicurean worldview attractive, we invite you to join us in the study of Epicurus at EpicureanFriends.com, where you will find a discussion thread for each of our podcast episodes and many other topics.
This week we continue our discussion of Books One and Two of Cicero's On Ends, which are largely devoted to Epicurean Philosophy. "On Ends" contains important criticisms of Epicurus that have set the tone for standard analysis of his philosophy for the last 2000 years. Going through this book gives us the opportunity to review those attacks, take them apart, and respond to them as an ancient Epicurean might have done, and much more fully than Cicero allowed Torquatus, his Epicurean spokesman, to do.
This week we continue in Book One, and we will cover from XIII to the end of the chapter. Follow along with us here: Cicero's On Ends - Complete Reid Edition
We are using the Reid edition, so check any typos or other questions against the original PDF which can be found here.
As we proceed we will keep track of Cicero's arguments and outline them here:
Episode 193 of Lucretius Today is Now Available:
I'm the middle of listening and wanted to add...
My perspective is that mental pleasure (both kinetic and katastematic) are not higher or nobler or better. It's that we have more ready access to those pleasures, that we can have more confidence in having those than we can in physical, fleeting pleasure. We should enjoy both mental and physical pleasure, but we can just access the mental ones with more confidence.
We should enjoy both mental and physical pleasure, but we can just access the mental ones with more confidence
Yep I would say that Epicurus' final days would be an example of that.
I am thinking to myself what implications flow from that observation.
One of the primary ones would be that this allows the "continuous pleasure" position in which we always have access to mental pleasures. This doesn't mean that the mental pleasures are necessarily better, but if we can be confident that we always have the ability to find pleasure in life, then we can be confident that life is worth living, and that in itself is a very important character trait and provides resistance against nihilism.
Also I need to apologize to everyone that I seem half dead in this podcast. I had some strange back pains in the days before the recording and I think I may have been podcasting under the influence of the medications I was taking.
I plan to be sure we backtrack as needed this next episode to be sure we cover what we need to cover, so if anyone has comments please add them
We will probably be on basically this same topic for the next several weeks.