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  • This article might be a start for those of us who are in need of reclaiming all aspects of pleasure...and hope to hear from others on any further thoughts and ideas.

    I myself am stuck on pleasure = food ... and hope to move beyond that.

    Article title: "When did pleasure become a dirty word?"


    "Why is pleasure so valued in other parts of the world, but not here, not in the U.S.?

    On the heels of International Happiness Day, which has been celebrated internationally on March 20 since 2012, let’s begin to unpack our uniquely American aversion to pleasure and how that might be affecting our happiness. According to the Oxford Dictionary, pleasure is defined as “a feeling of happy satisfaction and enjoyment,” or “enjoyment and entertainment, as opposed to necessity.” Given that suicide has ranked among the top 10 causes of death in the U.S. every year since 2008, should we be asking ourselves this question: Have we been underestimating the importance of enjoyment, of pleasure? Is

  • Upcoming publication: a companion edition to The Pocket Stoic, published last year.

    The Pocket Epicurean by John Sellars

    Will Publish December 2021

    Cloth-Bound $12.50

    University of Chicago Press



    John Sellars is a Reader in Philosophy at Royal Holloway, University of London, a Visiting Research Fellow at King’s College London (where he is an Associate Editor for the Ancient Commentators on Aristotle project), and a member of Wolfson College, Oxford (where he was once a Junior Research Fellow).



    A short, smart guide to living the good life through the teachings of Epicurus.

    As long as there has been human life, we’ve searched for what it means to be happy. More than two thousand years ago, the Greek philosopher Epicurus came to his own conclusion: all we really want in life is pleasure. Though today we tend to associate the word “Epicurean” with indulgence in the form

  • The Sea We Swim In: How Stories Work in a Data-Driven World
    Columbia University's Frank Rose shares 5 key insights from his new book, The Sea We Swim In: How Stories Work in a Data-Driven World.

    Never heard of Frank Rose before, but this caught my eye. I'd be curious to read what anyone thinks if they've read any of his books:

    2. Stories, not reason, are our default mode of thought.

    For decades, psychologists didn’t deign to study stories—they were considered frivolous, unworthy of serious study. But Jerome Bruner was different. “There are two modes of cognitive functioning, two modes of thought,” he wrote in 1986, “each providing distinctive ways of ordering experience, of constructing reality.” One mode is reason, which philosophers have been studying for centuries. The other is what we now call “narrative thinking.”

    Narrative thinking is our default mode—it’s what we engage in all the time. It’s gossip. It’s

  • This weekend we will be recording our 88th episode of the Lucretius Today podcast, which will carry us through line 818 of Book Six.

    There are approximately 1272 lines in book six so at a rate of 100 lines a week we have about five or so weeks to go. That means by the end of October or mid-November, we will have completed going through the entire poem, and it will be time to decide where to go from here.

    It may be that our core podcasters (Martin, Don, and myself) are close to our limit to get one significant podcast completed per week, so in order of priority I think in order to build a proper foundation for listeners to build on, we need to next go through the major letters from Epicurus, in order (Herodotus, Pythocles, Menoeceus).

    We'll have to take a look at the economics and practical issues involved in whether to give that a separate podcast title (probably) or wrap it into the existing Lucretius Today setup so that existing podcast listeners get the new episodes

  • I have not read anything further than the first several paragraphs, and I may not agree with anything else whatsoever in it, but I do agree strongly with the part I've underlined here in red. Is there an instution in the way of our happiness? Vive la Révolution!

    And a key aspect of that is in the part I did not underline, which is that Lucretius should not be interpreted as preaching the "insignificance" of humans, as some seem to interpret Epicurus/Lucretrius as implying. Certainly any individual only occupies a tiny space in the vastness of an infinite universe, but that by no means implies that the individual should see himself or herself as "insignificant" in general.  

    From: "Happy Violence" - Bentley, Lucretius, and the PreHistory of Freethinking.

  • Quote

    Welcome to the gardens of pleasure;

    may you find it the abode of peace, of wisdom, and of virtue. [...] See to that luminary! Lovely and glorious in the dawn, he gathers strength and beauty to his meridian, and passes in peace and grandeur to his rest. So do thou, my son. Open your ears and your eyes ; know, and choose what is good ; enter the path of virtue, and thou shalt follow it, for you shall find it sweet. Thorns are not in it, nor is it difficult or steep: like the garden you have now entered, all there is pleasure and repose.

  • Question from reader : I found many topics in the forums talking about the different versions of this book. I'm not good at reading electronic versions, so I want to buy it. Which version would you recommend? From a post of yours of some months ago, I gather it would be Bailey's? Thanks

  • I was recently pestering Martin and Don about how I was aware that Goethe was esteemed as one of the smartest Germans ever, but that I was stumped about exactly why.

    Here's a comment from Munro's introduction to Lucretius that may raise Goethe further in my esteem:

    Maybe at some point we'll have a chance to track down more of Goethe's commentary on Lucretius and/or Epicurus.

  • Martin started a new event: