EpicureanFriends.com: The Forum For Epicureans

Announcements

  • Cassius

    Not that it is recommended, but If you happen to be reading through Catherine Wilson's "How To Be An Epicurean" and would like to make notes that you can share here on the forum, check out this blank outline which you can copy and paste into a post of your own: Outlining Catherin Wilson's "How To Be An Epicurean" - A Blank Form

  • Cassius

    Next open call (to continue in DeWitt Chapter 14) will be December 1 (tentatively) epicureanfriends.com/wcf/calendar/index.php?event/606/

  • Cassius

    Remember tomorrow morning is our next open Skye Meeting: epicureanfriends.com/wcf/calendar/index.php?event/605/

  • Cassius

    Please check out Joshua's excellent reading of the opening of Lucretius Book 1, and let us know which "voice" you like the best! Thanks Joshua! Joshua Reads The Opening of Lucretius Book One - 1743 Edition

  • Cassius

    Today we are expanding the subforum space devoted to Catherine Wilson's "Pleasure Principle" and "How To Be An Epicurean." The books were recently released and are being heavily promoted, and we need to have a place to discuss both the good points and the numerous bad points of these books. Please pay special attention to: Responding To Catherine Wilson's Chart Comparing Epicurus To The Stoics

  • Cassius

    One of our regulars here, Charles E., is a frequent use of the "Discord" chat application, and he has set up a new user group for Epicurean discussion which you can find at the link below. If you are a frequent user of "Discord" please check it out. I have signed up myself, however I am spread pretty thin and I am not sure how often I will get there, but I am sure you will find your host there to be very friendly and knowledgeable:https://discord.gg/tXrUYne

  • Cassius

    On 11/3 we continued in Chapter 14, and we will reconvene on 11/10 for a third session on Chapter 14, starting with the "Suavity" subheading. This will be either our last or next-to last episode on the DeWitt book, and then we expect to move to Lucretius. Please join us if you can: Discussion Plan For Chapter 14 "The New Virtues" (Norman DeWitt's "Epicurus And His Philosophy")

  • Cassius

  • Cassius

    Please take a look at this list of Recommended Reading, and add your comments on possible additions or changes. We'll then come up with a proposed spreadsheet and suggest that each participant add this to their profile to indicate their reading background: Profile of Past Reading

  • Cassius

    We will return to Skype on November 3 for a "Part 2" of Chapter 14 - "The New Virtues" - Link for the Discussion Plan: Discussion Plan For Chapter 14 "The New Virtues" (Norman DeWitt's "Epicurus And His Philosophy")

  • Cassius

    Please plan to join us for Chapter 14 of the DeWitt book - Sunday morning at 11:00 AM Eastern. Outline is here: Discussion Plan For Chapter 14 "The New Virtues" (Norman DeWitt's "Epicurus And His Philosophy")

  • Cassius

  • Cassius

    Prliminary Info About Upcoming Online Discussion Series On Lucretius: Lucretius EpicureanFriends PDF Reference Edition

  • Cassius

    Check out very interesting new post by Garden Dweller: Continuous Life Improvement

  • Cassius

  • Cassius

  • Cassius

    Important post worthy of discussion: Elayne's An Error-FIlled Video from the Neo-Epicureans: Office Space

  • Cassius

    Reminder: Skype call Sunday re Chapter 12 of EAHP - Join us if you can!

  • Cassius

    New Posting Rule: 5) Do not create posts composed of nothing other than links. See explanation here: Our Posting PolicIes At EpicureanFriends.com: No Partisan Politics; No Supernatural Religion; Follow The Community Standards

  • Cassius

    We had another great Skype call on 9/8. Our next will be 9/22 and we will finish Chapter 12 starting with "Pleasure Can Be Continuous"

Welcome to our Online Community of Epicureans, where we study Epicurus, apply Epicurean philosophy to our own lives, and"strike a blow for Epicurus, that great man whose holiness and divinity of nature were not shams, who alone had and imparted true insight into the good, and who brought deliverance to all that consorted with him." All are welcome to read and ask questions, but only firm friends of Epicurean Philosophy in accord with our Not Neo-Epicurean, But Epicurean and our Posting Policy statements are granted full posting privileges, so here you will find a truly supportive community of Epicurean Friends.

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Recent Activities

  • JJElbert

    Thread
    I've been reading At Home by Bill Bryson, a book about the history of the 1851 parsonage that is his private residence in Hampshire, England. Bryson is a wonderful storyteller, and a keen social historian—and, as it happens, a fellow Iowan.

    The book…
  • Cassius

    Posted the thread Welcome Obscure!.
    Thread
    Welcome Obscure ! When you get a chance, please tell us about yourself and your background in Epicurean philosophy.

    It would be particularly helpful if you could tell us (1) how you found this forum, and (2) how much background reading you have…
  • Godfrey

    Replied to the thread Happy Twentieth to Everyone Here!.
    Post
    Happy Twentieth, all!
  • Cassius

    Thread
    Happy Twentieth of November! Thanks to all who have been participating in the forum here. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to make the website suit your purposes better, and remember that the best way you can get more out of the site…
  • Cassius

    Replied to the thread The "Daily" Lucretian.
    Post
    Daily Lucretian - Tuesday November 19, 2019 (Continuation of Book Three, Daniel Brown 1743 Edition)



    And since we see the mind can be made sound, and be affected by the powers of medicine, as well as a disordered body, this is a strong evidence

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    1. Skype - Part 4 of DeWitt's "Epicurus and His Philosophy" Chapter 14- The New Virtues (Sun, Dec 1st 2019, 10:00 am - 11:00 am)

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Featured Articles

    Inspired by the considerations on the Epicurean friendship of Phillp Mithis in the book "The Ethical Theory of Epicurus - The pleasures of Invulnerability," I want to summarize the thought of Epicurus on friendship, trying to use his own words as much as possible, and adding mine where necessary. I am indebted to Carlo Diano because his thematic collection of Epicurus's maxims was essential. The first Epicurean festival, whose general theme was about friendship, was also very useful.

    Read More

    Political Division In The Promotion of Epicurean Philosophy: A Prescription For Disaster


    [Cassius: I write the following article clearly stating that it is my own personal opinion, without representation that it is or should be "the Epicurean position." I do not believe that I or anyone else has the ability to say what political positions every person applying Epicurean principles will take, and indeed that is the point of this article. I am writing this mainly to those of us who consider

    Read More

    On Pleasure vs. Tranquility - A Dialogue With Southampton



    JC:


    Hi Cassius. I'm sorry to badger you about this again, but I'm still trying to get my head around the pleasure principle. From my reading, all scholars agree that Epicurus divides pleasure into kinetic and katastematic. Am I right in thinking mainline scholars think Epicurus prized the latter over the former, and that DeWitt didn't? I ask because although mainline scholars I've read equate pleasure with tranquility / absence of

    Read More

    Principles: Not Neo-Epicurean, But Epicurean


    The following is a short summary of principles which are important for understanding Epicurus and participating in discussion at the Epicurean Philosophy Facebook Group. It is not intended to address all aspects of Epicurean philosophy. As time allows we will supplement the citations below with more citations and explanatory articles.


    1. Not “flourishing,” “human potential,” “self-actualization,” or “meaningfulness,”

    Read More

    On Pain, Pleasure, and Happiness

    Not "absence of pain" as a full statement of the goal of life, but “the Feelings are two, pleasure and pain” and “Pleasure is the beginning and the end of a happy life.”

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    Brief: The feelings are only two, pleasure and pain—there is no third state such as neutral, and there are no “fancy pleasures” which are different from regular pleasures. Because there is no neutral, reducing pain in life is only possible if there is a corresponding

    Read More

    Free Will in Epicurean Philosophy

    PREFACE 1.

    We often confuse the issue of the possibility of free will exercising with the issue of its existence. When we are unable to exercise it we say with sloppiness that it does not exist. This "I want but I can’t or I don’t want but I am forced" puts into testing our individual self-esteem. But any coercion and enforcement exists precisely because there is free will and some of the people have the power to exercise it, usually at the

    Read More

    Epicurean Influences On The Enlightenment

    by Dimitris Altas, Cardiologist, member of Epicurean Philosophy Friends of Thessaloniki.



    In 1453 the Ottomans conquered Constantinople by abolishing the Eastern Roman Empire, a fact which had a significant impact on the rest of Christian Europe. One of the most important impacts was that the Ottomans became masters of Silk Road, the land route that united Medieval Europe with East Asia, and especially with India and China. This resulted

    Read More

    The Epicurean Viewpoint

    by George Kaplanis founding member of the Epicurean Garden in Thessaloniki



    Now I ask you: what is the “Epicurean Viewpoint”?


    - It is the view that we gain from looking through the Canon of Epicurus.

    - If our viewpoint was gained through the Platonic Dialectic, it would have been a Platonic view.

    - And if our viewpoint came through the use of Dialectical Materialism, it would be a Marxist view.

    And now, where will we look to gain this Epicurean

    Read More

Featured Documents

New User Orientation



This is the place to study and discuss Epicurus with people who - can you believe it? - aren't just Stoics in disguise, but who actually support and promote Epicurean philosophy. On your first visit, check out this full home page, including the Not Neo-Epicurean, But Epicurean and our Posting Policy statements. Look around the Forums arranged by Topic. A good place to sample the latest conversations is by clicking Latest Threads, or simply start with our General Forum. After that, bookmark the Dashboard, so that when you come back you'll see all the latest postings and announcements. Other key links are the FAQ where we have answers to often-asked questions, and our Wiki, which features one of the best collections of Lucretius and other Epicurean texts that you'll find anywhere. Don't miss the forum devoted to reviews of modern books, articles, and video-multimedia devoted to Epicurus. Do you prefer a page theme that is lighter, darker, or a different color? Go to the bottom right and click "Change Style!" Thanks for dropping by and enjoy your stay - here our highest goal is Pleasure!


Also, we are continuing our on-line group discussions of Norman DeWitt's Epicurus and His Philosophy. Please check the announcements at the top of this page for confirmation of the time and date of the next session. Discussion outlines are posted here.


Please note our other ongoing projects: For our latest translations and research into the Doctrines, Sayings, and Letters of Epicurus, check our wiki.


There is also a great need for an authoritative online free edition of Lucretius' On The Nature of Things. At our Wiki page, we have two public domain versions (Munro and Bailey) and we are currently working on adding the 1743 Daniel Browne edition, which has the Latin text on the facing page of the original. In order to allow the reader to crosscheck the English translation, we are cross-referencing each translation the equivalent passage in the Latin text. If you have time to help in either of these projects, please let us know by posting in the appropriate forum thread. Our latest project is www.EpicureanRadio.com, a streaming service that we hope to expand into a full "Epicurean Radio Station." Check it out in the new subforum devoted to it!


If you have come across Epicurean philosophy in the past but been confused by commentators who assert - incorrectly - that Epicurus advocated an ascetic or passive lifestyle, you'll want to check out our table of Major Issues In Understanding Epicurean Philosophy. We're glad to help with your study of Epicurus - just ask in the forums! In the meantime, here is the advice of Thomas Jefferson on living an active Epicurean life:


"I take the liberty of observing that you are not a true disciple of our master Epicurus in indulging the indolence to which you say you are yielding. One of his canons, you know, was that “that indulgence which prevents a greater pleasure, or produces a greater pain, is to be avoided.” Your love of repose will lead, in its progress, to a suspension of healthy exercise, a relaxation of mind, an indifference to everything around you, and finally to a debility of body, and hebetude of mind, the farthest of all things from the happiness which the well-regulated indulgences of Epicurus ensure; fortitude, you know is one of his four cardinal virtues. That teaches us to meet and surmount difficulties; not to fly from them, like cowards; and to fly, too, in vain, for they will meet and arrest us at every turn of our road. Weigh this matter well; brace yourself up." - Thomas Jefferson to William Short, October 31, 1819.


A Feature of Our Forum - Follow The Advice Of Epicurus: Outline Your Understanding Of Philosophy


Epicurus' Letter to Herodotus: "Those who have made some advance in the survey of the entire system ought to fix in their minds under the principal headings an elementary outline of the whole treatment of the subject. For a comprehensive view is often required, the details but seldom. ... For it is impossible to gather up the results of continuous diligent study of the entirety of things unless we can embrace in short formulas and hold in mind all that might have been accurately expressed even to the minutest detail."


Thomas Jefferson wrote in a private letter "I too am an Epicurean" and drafted his own outline of Epicurean philosophy.  If you'd like to see what Jefferson wrote, and  get help in drafting your own, click here.


We hope you will consider signing up for an account so you can participate fully here at the forum. For a brief introduction to the orientation of this website, please review our Community Standards / Terms of Use , and check out our brief video Major Characteristics of Epicurean Philosophy.



A Note On Why This Website Is Not "Stoic In Disguise" -  

Many people who come here have been influenced by the alleged importance of a distinction between "kinetic" and "katastematic" pleasure. This argument is unsound, probably not of Epicurean origin at all, and can be very damaging to a proper understanding of Epicurus. To research this issue, start with Boris Nikolsky's "Epicurus on Pleasure," which argues that the katastematic issue was not introduced by Epicurus and reflects a later Stoic-influenced viewpoint. Next, read the chapters on Epicurus in Gosling and Taylor's "The Greeks on Pleasure," from which Nikolsky got the inspiration for his article. The whole section on Epicurus is good, but be sure to read their Chapter 19 "Katastematic and Kinetic Pleasure." Add to that the Wentham article "Cicero's Interpretation of Katastematic Pleasure," which highlights how emphasis on katastematic pleasure contradicts other core aspects of Epicurean philosophy.


Those shorter articles should then take you back to the best general book on Epicurus, Norman DeWitt's "Epicurus and His Philosophy."  DeWitt provides a sweeping overview of Epicurus which hardly mentions the katastematic - kinetic distinction except to point out how - even if one considers the categories relevant - Epicurean philosophy embraces both types. If you don't read anything else at this website, check out the articles listed above, and you'll see how important this issue is to a proper understanding of Epicurean philosophy. And if you are brand new to the study of Epicurus, be sure to start your study with DeWitt's "Epicurus and His Philsosophy."

Foundations of Epicurean Philosophy