Latest Threads

  • Here is a continuing issue which we need to address: Orientation for people who are new to Epicurus and don't know where to start.


    Here's an analogy: Someone new finds out about Epicurus and wants to learn more. They come to Epicureanfriends.com, or to Epicurean sections on Facebook, or on Reddit, or on some other online location, and they find lots of detailed information about fine points of the philosophy. They quickly get lost in all the detail and get turned off by the amount of effort needed to get a big picture perspective.


    There's no way to prevent this problem from happening. If we are doing our job, new people will constantly hear about Epicurus and want to know more. Just like the atoms, at no fixed time and no fixed place, new people are going to swerve into one of our public activities, and they are not going to know where to start. And Wikipedia is not only not going to get them where they need to be, it will probably discourage them from going further.

  • Over at another internet location, someone made a comment to the effect that "of the Greek philosophers, Epicurus (who advised his followers to "avoid politics") had gained the greatest political victory in the modern world."


    The writer was from Cambridge England.


    Here was my reply to him:


    To the Poster from Cassius:


    I see that you wrote that Epicurus gained the greatest political victory, and I also see that you are located in Cambridge. I've never been to England, so perhaps you can help me with a question I have. Suppose I decided to take a walk through downtown London, holding a big homemade sign that says:


    1 - Yahweh, Jesus, and Allah are Mickey Mouse Gods!

    2 - When you're dead, buddy, that's all she wrote, so forget heaven and hell!

    3 - Your "virtue" is worthless unless it brings pleasure!

    4 - Socrates was a liar, Plato was a faker, Aristotle was a wasted druggie, and Bertrand Russell was an ignorant boor!


    After an afternoon walking through London with that sign, would

  • This is my personal outline and interpretation of Epicurean philosophy:


    On the nature of reality

    1. Nature, being the physical universe consisting of matter, energy, and void, is all that exists. The supernatural does not exist.

    2. There are no gods, in the traditional religious sense of supernatural beings that interact with our universe.

    3. The mind is an emergent function of the physical body, most importantly the brain. When the body dies and disintegrates, so does the mind. There is no afterlife in which the mind survives the death of the body.

    On the nature of knowledge

    4. Nature is knowable. We observe it using our senses. And we use our mind to order these observations and integrate them into knowledge.

    5. Our feelings of pleasure and pain inform us as to what is beneficial and what is detrimental to us.

    6. We are born with certain innate ideas, such as a sense of justice. These form a kind of genetically transmitted knowledge which is beneficial to our life.

    7. We should

  • We have recently been discussing the challenges that people run into in writing about Epicurean philosophy. Here's another aspect I think is worth pointing out:


    Many people, especially those who just find out about Epicurus, seem to have the impression that the brilliance of Epicurus is summarized in the observation "Don't eat too much ice cream or you'll get sick."


    It amazes me how many people seems to think that Epicurus was needed to come along and make this point. They seem to think that prior to Epicurus no one had corrected the Stoics for drowning their pain in too much alcohol, or the Platonists for having too much sex with their shared wives, or the Aristotelians for stressing out over their political organizing, or the Pythagoreans for placing too much reliance on their magic numbers. Apparently many modern philosophers want us to believe that it was a novel and blindingly impressive idea to observe that "focusing on the basics" is an effective way to increase

  • pasted-from-clipboard.pngI was glancing around and saw this graphic. In Epicurean terms, what "matters" should be no different from "what leads to more enjoyable living." The interesting thing is that I don't think Epicureans have any problem seeing the unity of those goals. But boy oh boy many of the "virtue" crowd will read you the riot act if you take that position publicly. "How dare you suggest that pleasure is the goal of life," they will say! Thinking about why THAT kind of reaction happens helps us get to the heart of what Epicurus, feeling, and pleasant living are all about, and what separates us from Stoicism and most of the rest of modern and ancient philosophy.

  • https://www.gutenberg.org/eboo…1S31lPJ1340VaOv6GVZTgDNQk


    I believe I looked into this some years ago but came away very disappointed. Hopefully my memory is faulty. If you get a chance to post any kind of commentary on it that would be much appreciated.


    However I just did a word search in the Gutenberg edition for "Epicurus" and came up with exactly ONE results. On the other hand, a search for AURELIUS comes up with FIFTY-SIX results. Maybe my memory is not so bad after all.

    If it is just a rehash of Stoicism it would still be good to note that here so as to save people time from looking at it in the future.

  • I'm not going to translate this in English: http://epicuro.org/roberto-her…icita-di-dante-alighieri/

    I thing it is too much "Italian".

    An italian famous actor Roberto Herlitzka translated Lucrezio's De Rerum Natura in the same metric and style Dante used for the Divina Commedia.

    Today the book was presented officially in Turin and a great friend of mine, Sandro Borzoni, an epicurean, was there and wrote this presentation.

  • Poster1: Looking at the growth of Modern Stoicism compared to Epicureanism. There is Stoic week, quite a lot of books, very active Facebook communities, podcasts etc and even a Stoic meet up group in Manchester UK where I live. Does anybody have any opinion why the same hasn't happened with Epicureanism? Do you think that will change in the near future? And how that could be achieved?

    Many thanks x


    Poster2 - It requires a physical effort and cost to remove oneself from society and to find friends willing to do the same. To most people, that is impractical at best and culty at worst.

    Also - the true asceticism and discipline required is probably beyond most hedonic moderns.


    Ep1 - Why are you associating removing yourself from society and being ascetic with Epicurean philosophy? Epicurus participated in public religious rites and attended plays with enjoyment. He held feasts in his Garden.


    The discipline needed is only to avoid actions that bring more pain than pleasure, which is

  • Over on the Facebook Epicurean Philosophy page a new participant appeared for the first time and asked a question about "consumerism." Here is a followup question I asked of him in turn. I think this makes a good set of "starting point" questions for most anyone new to Epicurus:

    I don't think you have posted many times before your recent question which went straight to the "consumerism" issue, so we don't know where you stand on any of the much more basic issues in Epicurean philosophy. So just out of curiosity I'd like to ask:


    1 - Are you confirmed in the viewpoint that supernatural gods did not create the universe, and are not controlling your life?


    2 - Are you confirmed in the viewpoint that there is no life (and therefore no punishment or reward) after death?


    3 - Are you confirmed in the viewpoint that pleasure and pain are the ultimate motivators of life, rather than ideal forms or "virtue" or instructions from religion?


    4 - Are you confirmed in the viewpoint that the way

  • How many times has someone asked: "Do we know about "Such-And-Such Book" by "This or That" author?


    I should have organized this better a long time ago, but better late than never. We need, and now have, a dedicated forum for discussing "modern" books, articles, and videos related to Epicurus.


    So here's a place to post a thread on any book you'd like to discuss:


    Library - "Modern" Books and Articles


    Please start threads in the format: LastName (FirstName) - "TitleOfBook"


    But don't worry about that too much as we can fix it so that the thread titles are uniform. If you can in the first post, please post a link to where a PDF of the book can be found (if available) or a link to where the video can be seen (such as at Youtube).

  • Thanks to JAWS for this link: https://www.marxists.org/archive/guyau/1878/epicurus.htm


    Final Paragraph:


    "In summary, the Epicurean doctrines exercised an unquestionable influence on the development of human thought. In the natural sciences Democritus’ and Epicurus’ cosmological system appears to have triumphed in our time. In the moral and social sciences the doctrines derived from Epicureanism are also more powerful than they ever were. At this very moment the English school has brought forth, in the face of the Stoicism restored by Kant, an Epicureanism renewed by the facts of modern science. How many old ideas and rooted customs Epicureanism has contributed to ridding the moral domain of! In the same vein, we have seen that in the religious sphere Epicurus has labored, more than any other philosopher of antiquity, to liberate human thought from belief in the marvelous, the miraculous, and the providential. Well before the arrival of Christianity he had already attacked

  • I promised to translate all my new Italian post on Epicuro.org in English. Today I wrote two new posts, but they are a lot "Italian". So I'll try to resume and explain them here.



    An appeal for philosophy


    I fully share the appeal of Romanae Disputationes to give more importance to the study of philosophy in the Italian school, in particular to introduce it also in the technical study addresses where it is traditionally absent.


    The reason for this request is explained very simply by the poster itself:


    Why philosophy?
    Because it opens the mind of man to free thought

    Because it teaches to ask the right questions and not to give hasty answers

    Because it forces us to give reasons for what we think and what we say

    Because it moves to look for the meaning of all things in relation to the whole that surrounds them

    Because it forms men capable of exercising criticism

    Because it reminds us that science and technology are for the good of man

    Because he asks what is justice, good, happiness

  • As for me I go through periods of greater or lesser distraction away from my Epicurean work, so I like to hear about what others might be doing. I know michelepinto is working on a translation into Italian of "A Few Days In Athens," as well as on his own book of a somewhat similar nature.


    And I know Hiram is working on a "Twentiers" project which will offer some Epicurean objects for sale.


    Anyone else have any Epicurean projects going on that aren't ready to launch, but not too early to talk about?


  • What's going on here? Is Cicero being fair to Epicurus? Would Epicurus really have suggested an ice cream cone as a remedy for someone whose best friend had just died? I don't think so, and think the answer is found in one of Cicero's other works on Epicurus, "On Ends." In that work, the Epicurean Torquatus says:


    "Again, we aver that mental pleasures and pains arise out of bodily ones (and therefore I allow your contention that any Epicureans who think otherwise put themselves out of court; and I am aware that many do, though not those who can speak with authority); but although men do experience mental pleasure that is agreeable and mental pain that is annoying, yet both of these we assert arise out of and are based upon bodily sensations. Yet we maintain that this does not preclude mental pleasures and pains from being much more intense than those of the body; since the body can feel only what is present to it at the moment, whereas the mind is also cognizant of

  • Hallo, close tu Epicurus Bust there are Harold and Imma from Catalogna and me.
    We are in Philosopher's room in Musei Capitolini in Rome.
    We met there to see Epicurus. :-)

    That's also the why of my silence here in the last days, I was in Rome.

  • So the sources say that ancient Epicureans had votive busts and specifically mentions that they also wore RINGS with the likeness of Epicurus. Here is a sample I got of what an Epicurus ring would look like, as a possible product for my business thetwentiers.com. It's a small ring, but it expands, and the face of Epicurus does not fit entirely into it but it still looks like Epicurus. Do others think there is a market for this?



  • April, 2019

    "Nothing Can Be Created From Nothing"


    ** Welcome to this month's edition of the EpicureanFriends.com newsletter!


    ** Our home base for discussion, where you can find links to major Epicurean news and websites across the internet, is www.EpicureanFriends.com. Our goal is to better understand and apply the wisdom of Epicurus, and in the words of Lucian, "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!" For more background, check here and also here. For interim updates between editions of this newsletter, check out EpicurusToday.com for daily updates taken from the newsfeeds of major Epicurean websites.


    FIRST - A GENERAL WORD ABOUT ABSOLUTISM VS EPICUREAN PHILOSOPHY


    There are an almost unlimited number of places in the real and on-line world where people can go to discuss general philosophy.

  • Poster: The question of whether Epicureanism is a realist or idealist remains unresolved. Apart from the problems of the exegesis and interpretation, there is the innately thorny nature of the questions themselves. Whether realist or idealist, both positions serve as a grounding for the prescriptive parts of Epicurean ethics and psychology. Idealism seems to provide the stronger case.



    Cassius:


    Poster, are you quoting someone or just stating your opinion? As to your conclusion, I disagree. If Epicurus had been saying one thing and meaning something entirely different, Epicurus would have been a hypocrite and had no credibility among the very intelligent circles of Greek and Roman philosophers. So it's my opinion that "idealism" as the sole basis for his position - a kind of Platonic "noble myth" would cut the legs out from anyone wishing to take Epicurus seriously - then or now. But we are all entitled to our own opinions, and to which Epicurean texts we choose to take seriously.

  • Thanks to Takis Panagiatopolis of the Athens Garden for this link:


    http://www.epicuros.gr/pages/e…lis_Epicurus_Porphyry.pdf


    ! It seems clear that this writer was referencing Epicurean ideas while also combining them with elements that are absolutely irreconcilable. It is interesting to reflect on which are which.

    "27. So then, first you must grasp the law of Nature and from it ascend to the divine law which also established the law of Nature."


    pasted-from-clipboard.png


    Tempelis_Epicurus_Porphyry.pdf

  • The Notre Dame fire today is a huge event that has many political implications that are not appropriate for this forum. But it clearly is Epicurean to observe that the gods of the religionists do not intervene to protect their temples.


    I clearly seem to recall that there are passages in some of the ancient texts about how "the gods'" fail to protect their temples, and that their thunderbolts even burn down their own altars, but at the moment I can't recall a cite.


    If any of you remember good texts that would be appropriate for graphics in the coming weeks and months, please post those here too. Because the images of the burning Notre Dame are going to become 9/11 style iconic images showing that the gods do not intervene in the world of human affairs. And that far transcends the politics of 2019.

  • http://epikur-wuerzburg.de/aktivitaeten/thv/   


    Google Translate Version:


    NOTE -- I cut and pasted this page on 4/15/19 from the original site. The "thvproject" link below appears to have been "re-assigned" all right -- it now appears to be a PORN site. I am leaving the text as is for the moment, or at least until i can find the correct replacement link.

    Thesaurus Herculanensium Voluminum

    On the initiative of Gianluca Del Mastro, the Centro Internazionale per la Studio dei Papiri Ercolanesi began in 2008 with the construction of a full-text database of herculean papyri ( Thesaurus Herculanensium Voluminum , THV). In collaboration with the Department of Classical Philology I at the University of Würzburg, a total of 26 texts were entered and made available at http://www.thvproject.it (this address has since been re-assigned and contains other material). In 2013, the transfer of existing and new texts began in the Digital Corpus of Literary Papyri , which was coordinated by

  • The classic one in regard to gods is from the letter to Menoeceus. This is Bailey, and he uses the word "conceptions" but that prejudges the issue; other translators use preconceptions or anticipations: "The things which I used unceasingly to commend to you, these do and practice, considering them to be the first principles of the good life. First of all believe that god is a being immortal and blessed, even as the common idea of a god is engraved on men’s minds, and do not assign to him anything alien to his immortality or ill-suited to his blessedness: but believe about him everything that can uphold his blessedness and immortality. For gods there are, since the knowledge of them is by clear vision. But they are not such as the many believe them to be: for indeed they do not consistently represent them as they believe them to be. And the impious man is not he who popularly denies the gods of the many, but he who attaches to the gods the beliefs of the many. For the statements of

  • The following notes were from a discussion in 2017 among several of our core members. The discussion was prompted when we were talking about trying to come to a summary position on the nature of anticipations, which proved to be something we had to defer. The discussion was also in part influenced by the Voula Tsouna article "Epicurean Preconceptions."


    To illustrate the anti-DeWitt position, I am going to post separately in the files section the chapter from Bailey's "Greek Atomists and Epicurus" on Canonics, which includes Anticipations.


    I always cite Bailey with hesitation because I frequently find his interpretations unconvincing, and he is clearly not sympathetic to Epicurus or try to interpret Epicurus in a favorable light. He is in my view the opposite of DeWitt. So while I strongly trust DeWitt due to his lifetime of work and research in support of Epicurus, it is possible that DeWitt gets certain interpretations wrong. And while I strongly distrust Bailey, due to his

  • This weekend I finished a review by audiobook of Cicero's "Academic Questions / Tusculun Disputations." I know in my own case, reinforced by the material at Epicurus.net, I have always focused on "On Ends" for key Epicurean passages. Reviewing these other works reminds me that although there is not a long narrative like Torquatus gives in On Ends, there is a tremendous amount of interesting information in other parts of Cicero.


    As I type this, the part that jumps out at me is that while I continue to believe that the influence of Abrahamic religions has been one of the most negative influences on the Western world, it seems clear that most, if not all, of the same pernicious influences were inherent in mainstream Greek philosophy of the Socratic / Platonic / Aristotelian / Stoic type, which Cicero seems to have correctly regarded as essentially similar in fundamental nature -- all focuses on a master creator in an essentially monotheistic view. Cicero was right to treat Epicurus as

  • After a couple of heated arguments today (with relatives!) about the existence of supernatural gods, I need to go back and compile a list of the Epicurean texts which say things to to effect that unless you totally dismiss fables from your mind you can't be truly happy. In other words, "I don't know" isn't good enough. I found a couple below, but I know that there are some in Lucretius on which I can't put my finger, and probably other sources as well. I think I specifically remember parts of Lucretius to the effect that learning a little science can even make things worse unless you dismiss the idea of religious fables. I will eventually find these myself, but it might be a good exercise to talk about, and maybe others will think of cites that I have missed. Please post any more that fit this same theme:


    PD12. A man cannot dispel his fear about the most important matters if he does not know what is the nature of the universe but suspects the truth of some mythical

  • Just wanted to post a quick note to thank the regulars for checking in so frequently. We're now having close to ten people check in daily, and that's the best we have had since the forum started.


    If anyone has any suggestions or issues with use of the forum please post and we'll try to address them. We recently had a few comments about unreadable text when pasting from Microsoft Word or another word processor. That doesn't happen if you compose in a plain text editor, but if you find that it happens to you, just highlight the text, click the paintbrush icon (labeled font color) and click the "Remove Color" option at the bottom.


    Thanks again for your time and conversation here!

  • The epiStoa association takes its name from the two major Hellenistic philosophical schools: that of Epicurus and the Stoa.


    epiStoa-300x123.jpg epiStoa, whose symbol is a Roman aqueduct, European Values and Languages - From Antiquity To Today.

    epiStoa is a European initiative to foster and promote European Values - human rights, democracy and the rule of law - and the impact of the Ancient Languages on modern Europe.


    For more information: http://epistoa.eu/

  • We have had several threads lately on FB addressing the principle that pleasure is pleasure-- no higher or lower pleasures. There is still often some contrast made between pleasures which involve altered states, such as through drugs or foods-- the use of extrinsic molecules which bind to receptors which otherwise bind our own endogenously produced neurotransmitters. I would like to consider this from a slightly different angle, while maintaining still that pleasure is pleasure.


    The contrast in comfort level with feelings of pleasure mediated by intrinsic neurologic/ hormonal pathways and those mediated by extrinsic factors may be based on an intuition that the extrinsic pathways are not credible contacts with reality. I'm saying intuition here because I don't get the sense that it is a reasoning process-- it seems like a visceral distrust. Perhaps a prolepsis?


    The extrinsic molecules bind differently from our intrinsic molecules-- often more "tightly", less reversibly. They can

  • It is pretty much a given that all people at some point question their mortality and worry about death.


    In the local supermarket this afternoon I was "witnessed" too by a missionary. I guess his assignment after service was to hit up the market for converts. After his usual pitch, I asked him if he was scared to die. Of course he said no. He was in the great number of saints. Then I asked him what if he died and there was no immortal existence, and all of the missionary work pointed to a great nothing? He looked upset and said, then I would have wasted my life.


    I calmly said, I rest my case. Smiled and before I walked off, I told him death is nothing to us. We have no recall of life before birth. Death is the same way. No sensation. Don't fear it. Live today.

  • **Visualizing Principal Doctrine 9 ** "If every pleasure could be intensified so that it lasted and influenced the whole organism or the most essential parts of our nature, pleasures would never differ from one another."


    This doctrine is one of the more difficult sayings, because the context is not as clear as many of the others. In my view, the point of this one relates to the material discussed in DeWitt's "Fullness of Pleasure" discussion, and has at least these two major points:


    (1) All pleasures share in the same unifying character - they are pleasurable because our feeling of Pleasure tells us so. There is no outside standard or worthiness or nobility or good or bad, and no need for evaluation by logic or reason. We know a thing is pleasurable (or painful) because our Feelings tell us so. This is of course important because we need to eliminate once and for all the viewpoint that there is something floating in the universe, in the nature of a supernatural god, or

  • Soon I have to make a drive that is about ten hours one way, so I wanted to load my telephone with audiobook material that will make the drive more productive. I have listened before to Cicero's "On Ends" that way, and also to the full set of Diogenes Laertius biographies. This time I want to listen to Cicero's "Tusculan Disputations," and I see that there is an edition by C.D. Yonge that combines that with "On Ends."


    I plan to listen to that for much of the trip, but the reason for this post is that I see that this book contains a very good summary of the major aspects of the forty or so philosophers mentioned by Cicero. That list covers the majority of those with whom the ancient Epicureans dealt, so if you're looking for a good and relatively short summary of the important ones, this is a fairly quick read.


    Since this book was published in 1875 I have pasted a copy on the EpicureanFriends wiki here: https://www.epicureanfriends.c…_major_greek_philosophers


    I should add that

  • Kojin Karatani’s “ Isonomia and the Origins of Philosophy” is a study of the Ionian world with particular attention being paid to its political aspects.

    Download available here:

    http://booksdescr.org/item/ind…C0DA3B8C2B9753B70BEC15359

    Reviews can be found here:

    https://www.radicalphilosophy.…gT0cdnAGP3Ck4r_0j1CVytSQM

    https://www.anotherpanacea.com…-athens-equality-problem/

    Can anybody recommend books that describe Epicurus’s revival of Ionian natural philosophy? Or just a good study or history of the Ionian world and thought.

    I already know Elizabeth Asmis – “Epicurus' Scientific Method”.

    What about books on the Indian influence on the Hellenistic world?

    This short, tantalizing blog entry is a comparative essay.

    https://epicurus.today/epicurus-and-carvaca/

    But books such as Thomas McEvilley’s?

  • Not everyone is interested in this topic, but many people are, and those may find that a connection between Epicurus and apparently-obscure verses in the Bible will push them over the line into reading more about Epicurus.


    So in the interest of preparing a list of "highlights," let's prepare a list of the verses, with the verse itself, that DeWitt suggests refers to Epicurus or Epicurean philosophy. DeWitt has a table of all verses cited in his book on page 194. It appears, however, that this is a full table of all verses referenced, and most readers will be more interested in only that selection that seems to directly refer to Epicurus.


    Here is a link to view the table being worked on at Google Docs. If you would like to help add to the list, please send me a private message and I will send you a link with edit capability. Thanks!



    Bible Reference
    Verse Translation Summary of Connection Page Reference in SPAE
    Phillipians 3:18-19
    18 (For many walk, of whom I have told
  • Anandamide is the molecule of pleasure, which the brain naturally produces

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anandamide


    I find a lot of the information on this article fascinating for several reasons:


    1. It's in high concentration in cacao (chocolate, in its raw form) and, of course, cannabis
    2. The study that involved piglets and obesity reminded me of Horace the poet. This portion basically says that fats are necessary to form this chemical, which makes sense, since Omega 3 and Omega 6 fats are known to keep the brain healthy, the neurons well-connected, and therefore contributes to a healthy and happy brain.
    3. Epicurus said that pleasure starts in the belly and, lo and behold, the article says that "bile acids – which are mainly involved in the adsorption of lipids in the small intestine – modulate its biogenesis" ... in other words, the pleasure molecule is born in the small intestine.
  • Hiram

    Warning: disturbing content

    When possible, as a consumer/investor, I would like to make informed purchases and investments so as to not contribute to the harm and therefore be connected to the problem. Today, I read that Brunei legislated stoning as punishment for the so-called crimes that are people's sexual orientation and adultery. I don't understand how those are punishable or even considered crimes. I don't know how our governments even get away with having any affairs with the governments that commit such crimes against humanity. Now, I can't change the government but I can vote with my dollars, and unlike voting every four years, with my dollars I get the chance to vote everyday. So if I could know the products that are from such countries or companies that engage in such activities then I can steer clear of them and make better informed purchases/investments.


    The Canadian government, despite being so-called liberal, has sold billions of dollars of weapons to the

  • Activity in our discussions goes up and down over time, but I perceive we are currently in an upswing, and this is probably a good time to talk once again about whether we are ready to set up a regular schedule of audio or video "meetings" via the internet. I am thinking that perhaps the best format might be sort of a "call-in" show, where several of us plan to discuss a particular topic for maybe twenty minutes, but also plan to take "calls" from people who want to discuss specific issues that might or might not be on the main topic.


    We have a logistical problem in that we are spread out over so many time zones that we would have to pick a time that is (1) probably on a weekend, and (2) probably in the morning for people in the United States, so that people in Europe can participate. And we have at least one key friend who is in the Far East (Thailand) so we need to consider how to accommodate that too.


    I think what we've been missing in the past is enough interest for

  • Elayne has asked a great question which derives from Chapter 10 of A Few Days In Athens - specifically a paragraph in the section about consolation for death. Here is the part under discussion:


    "What were the glories of the sun, if we knew not the gloom of darkness? What the refreshing breezes of morning and evening, if we felt not the fervors of noon? Should we value the lovely-flower, if it bloomed eternally; or the luscious fruit, if it hung always on the bough? Are not the smiles of the heavens more beautiful in contrast with their frowns, and the delights of the seasons more grateful from their vicissitudes? Let us then be slow to blame nature, for perhaps in her apparent errors there is hidden a wisdom. Let us not quarrel with fate, for perhaps in our evils lie the seeds of our good. Were our body never subject to sickness, we might be insensible to the joy of health. Were our life eternal, our tranquillity might sink into inaction. Were our friendship not threatened with

  • One of the most interesting things we could be doing as we study Epicurus is to produce our own articles, books, graphics, music -- even if it's just a simple graphic meme for sharing on the internet.


    I know through contacts that several people who post here or on Facebook are working on projects, and if you are working on something don't hesitate to start a thread to let us know about it and ask for help.


    Whether it's help in setting up a meetup group, writing your own blog, or just learning to use a graphics program and designing a meme, let us know and we have numbers of people who would be glad to help.

  • Does anyone know of any Epicurean references with respect to funeral/burial rites or procedures. After high school, I served in the military and while I remember I identified as an Epicurean I'm blanking on what I wrote for my will and funeral/burial. I can probably still get access to the document or may be able to find it somewhere in storage but I don't believe I had found any specific references before so any help/guidance is appreciated. Thanks.

  • Poster (whose post should not be lost to time):

    I do not have "justice" as a separate goal from pleasure. It is just one of many behaviors that bring me pleasure.


    What I know from developmental pediatrics is that the sense of justice is not learned-- it is innate. The sense of empathy-- innate. The specific ways your culture will develop practices to express justice and empathy can vary a lot, but the basic sensation of pleasure in justice and empathetic actions, and pain at injustice and nonempathetic actions-- these are not taught.


    Further, either you have empathy or you don't-- on a spectrum, yes, but we know of no way to make a biologically low empathy person care about others. We can modify their behavior to a degree, but we can't cause them to have feelings their brains don't produce.

    So that brings me to the conclusion that it is always an error to wonder if a typically empathetic person will be cruel if advised to seek pleasure. The answer is no, because that would cause the

  • With these words I hope not to offend anyone. Consider it my friendly reflection.


    One of the things that I appreciate most in Epicurus's philosophy is moderation and one of the master's phrases that I like best is the Vatican sayng 74: "In a scholarly dispute, he who loses gains more because he has learned something".


    This is why I don't believe I have any truth in my hand.

    As Epicurus, I believe that no divine being interferes in the life of men. But precisely "I believe". As it is not possible to prove the existence of God it is not even possible to prove its non-existence. At most we can argue about the possibilities of one thesis or another.


    I believe that the teachings of Epicurus are a privileged way to happiness. The best I know. But I do not pretend that this is the case for everyone.


    I have a friend who feels such a comfort in believing that there is a God to take care of him who, if denied, could hardly be happy.

    I know people who follow a passion in their lives, a

  • Here, I think this excerpt from Wiker's "Moral Darwinism" book FAR overstates the case as to Darwin being a "disciple" of Epicurus. Darwin is "the most potent formulation of that philosophy [Epicurus] to date?" That is way overstated.


    Do we actually know that Darwin was either an explicit fan of, or quoted, Epicurus? We do know that Nietzsche was at least in certain respects a fan of Epicurus, but that Nietzsche was not a fan of Darwin. I have not read deeply into Darwin but my gut tells me that Nietzsche is right on this, and that Darwin probably does not deserve a lot of study by an Epicurean except to note Darwin's development of theories of nature that are not guided by supernatural beings, which is only one aspect of Epicurus.



    297-pasted-from-clipboard-png

  • Ten years before „The Swerve“, Benjamin Wiker published a book that covers much of the same ground: „Moral Darwinism: How We Became Hedonists“


    ref=sr_1_fkmrnull_1?keywords=Moral+Darwinism%3A+How+We+Became+Hedonists&qid=1554026728&s=gateway&sr=8-1-fkmrnull


    Wiker and Greenblatt agree in their historical narrative of the modern world as a product of the turn away from The Christian cosmology of intelligent design to the Lucretian cosmology of evolutionary atomism. Greenblatt celebrates this historical turn as moral progress, while Wiker laments it as moral degeneration.


    I will be posting some very revealing quotations.

  • In a nearby thread the question was raised about who should be considered to be an Epicurean. No one has the authority to give such a list, and probably no one after Epicurus himself, or the last head of the Epicurean school in Athens in the ancient world, ever had that authority. But we ought to give thought to what the key components of the philosophy are, so we can consider how many of them fit the person we're considering labeling as an Epicurean.


    My own first question is "Does the person call himself an Epicurean?" Epicurean philosophers always acknowledged a debt to the person of Epicurus himself as the founder of the school. So if the person doesn't explicitly talk about Epicurus, that is almost a bright line elimination that the person should be considered to be an Epicurean, no matter how many admirable personality traits or interests we can identify in them.


    But today, in another context I was asked for my view of the most important points of Epicurean philosophy, and

  • pasted-from-clipboard.png[This artlcle was posted by Elli in March of 2017. I think Elli is almost surely correct, and this is something of considerable significance. Please let us know your thoughts:]


    Raphael's fresco "The School of Athens“ in the Vatican is famous throughout the world, but less well known are the identities of the philosophies shown within it. Aristotle, Socrates, and Plato seem confidently identified, but where are the other leading lights of Greek philosophy, especially Epicurus and Zeno, founders of two of the most popular schools in ancient Greece?


    The purpose of this is to discuss theories for identifying the other philosophers shown in the fresco.


    From various reports it is believed that Raphael, Botticelli and many other painters of the Renaissance, had studied the Epicurean Lucretius and his famous poem "On the Nature of Things." Theories of "who is who" in the fresco "School of Athens" came from the Vatican and the popes, and not from the painter

  • Thanks to Michele Pinto I see these two paintings of Epicurus by Agostino ScilliI have never before seen!


    Agostino-Scilla-Epicuro-229x300.jpg   Agostino-Scilla-Epicuro-1-245x300.jpg



    http://epicuro.org/gli-epicuro-di-agostino-scilla/



    The blog post linked here tells about them. That blog post also mentions the Raphael School of Athens, and the representation that is ATTRIBUTED as being Epicurus, but which elli has shown, is probably not, as there is another character who DOES look very much like Epicurus! As soon as I can find a good link I will post that discussion here in this thread too -- perhaps Elli already has a good link (?()