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  • Don

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    (Quote)

    I just read this a little closer and need to convey concerns about Philodemus and Dewitt being mentioned as examples of "other sources."
    I firmly agree that Epicurus's extant works take precedence. No question. It's hard to know what Epicurus…
  • Cassius

    Replied to the thread From Philodemus.
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    (Quote from Susan Hill)

    This is the first quote I would focus on here, but I'll discuss it below in context of Elayne's comment.
    (Quote from Elayne)

    First, I agree with the drift of Elayne's post that this quote needs to be scrutinized very closely. On…
  • Don

    Replied to the thread From Philodemus.
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    (Quote)

    This sounds also like the section of the Letter to Menoikeus that is notoriously difficult to translate (not just by me, but by others)

    124c. ταῖς γὰρ ἰδίαις οἰκειούμενοι διὰ παν τὸς ἀρεταῖς τοὺς ὁμοίους ἀποδέχονται,

    Again, γάρ "for,…
  • Elayne

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    Godfrey, this definitely resonates with me-- not a being or a consciousness but the various processes of inorganic matter becoming organic and organic matter developing. It reminds me of "the force that through the green fuse drives the flower" D thomas.…
  • Elayne

    Replied to the thread From Philodemus.
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    Bearing in mind our agreed on caveat for this group regarding secondary sources like Philodemus, I question whether this idea of gods _feeling_ congeniality or alienation for us is consistent with the assertion that they are entirely blissful.

    In the…
  • Susan Hill

    Replied to the thread Horace - Ode I-34.
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    (Quote from JJElbert)

    Beautifully said! I think one of the greatest strengths of Epicureanism is that those boundaries/protections are in place. It is pretty unique. There are limits that serve the telos and prevent the creation of yet another organized…
  • JJElbert

    Replied to the thread Horace - Ode I-34.
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    My mind is running on two tracks right now, and this observation might serve a point in the Divinity megathread. I'll post it here since I've already started.

    I've suspected that this Ode might contain allusions to Lucretius, and a footnote in the Loeb…
  • Don

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    The fact that Epicurus then uses ὑπεγράφη hypegraphē which has an etymology of tracing an image I find quite intriguing.
  • Elayne

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    That's an interesting idea... I'm not comfortable arguing a position I disagree with, because I know that at least for me, word choice and tone are influenced by feelings, and to feign feeling for a position I don't like would feel dishonest. I don't…
  • Cassius

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    You're probably correct that it's too aggressive for now. I would like to point in that direction for the future, however, because I am thinking that ultimately the issues involved are not really something that need as much detailed documentation as…
  • Don

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    Oh my, that pro-con reverse-a-palooza sounds like a lot of work. I see where you're going - and can appreciate the sentiment - but that's getting to a conference presentation level of work. :)
  • Don

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    That's part of it.
    My surprise came more at the ambiguous nature of the word ζώον which is usually just translated animal or being. That second option seems to play right into the "idealist" perspective of the nature of a god/divinity.
  • Thanks Don! So part of what you are saying as to singular / plural is that Epicurus seemed to be more refering to "divinity" (even, the "concept of divinity") rather than to a particular god or gods?

    I tend to think that would be especially true in…
  • Cassius

    Thread
    We have at least two very deep threads going on right now, one on "divinity" and one on "principles of Epicurean thinking / analysis."

    I would appreciate everyone thinking as we near year-end how we can extend the discussions.

    I think we would all…
  • Don

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    Okay, so here's the first draft of my notes on the section of Menoikeus to which I was referring. I apologize for the length! 123 refers to Diogenes's Book X:123.:

    123b. πρῶτον μὲν τὸν θεὸν ζῷον ἄφθαρτον καὶ
  • Susan Hill

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    (Quote from Elayne)

    I was also a cradle atheist. There was not one person in my family that was remotely spiritual. I went to a secular school. So, I was at no time indoctrinated into a religion growing up. I was oriented towards wanting a connection to…
  • JJElbert

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    (Quote)

    I understand you perfectly! A similar example would be his compulsory two-year military service. The fact that he served shouldn't be taken as conclusive of anything philosophically, since he didn't have a choice.

    In general terms, I'm more…
  • Godfrey

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    Susan Hill this is the first that comes to mind in this context:
    http://www.fondationlecorbusie…tName=Home&sysParentId=11
  • Elayne

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    JJ, I want to be clear on what I mean about the death penalty issue. I think DeWitt explains that there were no tests of faith for these rituals, just a duty to participate. I'm not saying he lied about anything-- I was just referring specifically to…
  • Godfrey

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    Great questions Don !

    The generative force could easily and incorrectly be renamed the Generative Force (or simply The Force ;)). Obviously I'm still grappling with this, and there's probably a better word or phrase for what I'm trying to describe. It…
  • Susan Hill

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    Joshua, thank you for your posting. It is a beautiful and moving poem and essay.

    I certainly identify with the ache of something lost or never quite found. My whole life, I stared longingly at cathedrals or beautiful churches, wishing I could believe, …
  • The issue there may be in how we are applying the terms realist and idealist, since those are our terms rather than based in the texts. I am thinking that the letter supports that Epicurus held both that they are real and that they serve as…
  • Don

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    Through my work on the Letter to Menoikeus, I'm not convinced that the idealist perspective isn't plausible due to the ambiguity of some of the Greek.
  • JJElbert

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    And on another note, I am especially interested in where Horace's mind was on this subject. I was attempting to work through his Odes in Latin last night. I need to improve my Latin considerably!
  • Cassius

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    This could turn into a huge thread as well, and that would be a good thing. I really want us to eventually go through the text of On Methods of Inference in detail and not even just rely on what DeLacy has summarized. For all we know his analysis is…
  • Cassius

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    (Quote from JJElbert)

    That's an understatement! ;-)

    But having a lot going on is a GOOD thing. It means we're processing information, formulating new ways to articulate it, and presumably gaining pleasure from it - either now or in the future pleasure…
  • JJElbert

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    So....there's a lot going on here. 😆

    Cassius mentioned somewhere the question of the Epicurean theory of images vs the modern theory of light. It is a settled fact that Epicurus got this wrong—objects do not 'shed' atomic films that impinge on the…
  • Elayne

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    This is the kind of thing that made Epicurus say (to paraphrase) that if we can't agree sugar is sweet, we might as well not talk at all. Mine would be that if we can't agree that some evidence is more reliable than other evidence, there is no point in…
  • Elayne

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    (Quote from Cassius)

    Enough is subjective as a sensation, and it also has real world consequences for the person... AND, when a person is talking to other scientists, they should not be surprised to be laughed at if they say "a dream is enough for me"…
  • Cassius

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    This the the direction that needs exam I agree. How does one articulate "enough" in these issues
  • Elayne

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    And accepting pragmatic fact differs from the Skeptics, who were obsessed over uncertainty. It's philosophy ocd to be a skeptic.
  • Elayne

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    A way of stating my hypothesis is "most people do not require 100% certainty in order to not worry. Of those who do, no amount of checking will remove the worry (as in OCD)."
  • Elayne

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    Oh, I do think Epicurus would agree with me, if he had access to what I have access to. I think if he knew about pragmatism and "certain enough to use for decisions", he would be fine with that. I don't think stats are a regression unless people don't…
  • Cassius

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    LOL - great example!
  • Elayne

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    As a modern example-- I have a friend who goes to a nun who sexes ginkgo seedings with a pendulum. If it swings one direction, it's male-- another, female. Apparently it's difficult to tell, and a lot of people want to avoid smelly fruit in their yards…
  • Cassius

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    Yes absolutely and I think what you're saying is very clear. But I think we are going to find that when we review the Epicurean material that still exists that there is good reason to think that what you're saying there is something they would readily…
  • Elayne

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    Cassius, yes-- that's what I've said-- but it's not arbitrary whether one p value gives more statistical confidence than another. So for someone to say "I'm going to drink OJ for my cancer because I had a dream it will work" is not nearly as likely to…
  • Cassius

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    Yes there has, Susan, but I think it is critical to (1) not let personalities get in the way of understanding, and (2) that we find ways to continue cooperation and to work together even where there is not complete unanimity.

    The most difficult issue…
  • Cassius

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    (Quote from Elayne)

    I see this as the key to the issue. There is, so far as I know, no bright line that statistics themselves can provide -- there is ultimately some other standard, outside of statistics itself, which ultimately governs what "p value"…
  • Susan Hill

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    Oops, sorry, I didn’t know. It sounds like there has already been a schism, of sorts. Nine pages in that thread regarding differences of view... That’s pretty significant.
  • Elayne

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    Is everyone clear on the difference between analogies, making observations before conclusions, and the scientific method, which is a more accurate way of testing observations? It's hard for me to tell from the conversation so far.

    Observations would…
  • Cassius

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    Did I hear it correctly at 1:58 that it is foolish to celebrate festivals "if gods are indifferent to us?"

    That's way too ambiguous. As stated (if I heard correctly) it is a statement that gods take an interest in us. I feel sure that the texts (even…
  • Don

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    Was also just browsing ebooks in library catalog and came across this one. Just checked it out, so no review but seemed relevant:
    In Awe: Rediscover Your Childlike Wonder to Unleash Inspiration, Meaning, and Joy
    by John O'Leary

    There once was a time…
  • Cassius

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    Oh this is an August 2020 video so I have not seen it yet -- is that Alan's voice and is this primarily his video?
  • Cassius

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    That's because I was so furiously typing on this subject with comments i think are pretty important that I wanted to be sure to get in as the second poster! ;-)

    it's updated now.
  • Don

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    Oops! I don't find a link after your "here" above, Cassius .
  • Don

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    That's an interesting take, Godfrey , and one I think I'm in agreement with for the most part... with a couple caveats and addenda:
    • Unfortunately, I think you'll still find some people imagining their God anthropomorphically. :-(
    • I'd like to read more
  • Cassius

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    Ha! That's a very logical thing to post, but you have hit upon a sensitive area that I want to immediately comment on even before watching this video (which I don't recall from memory).

    Speaking for myself only, I've had significant back and forth…
  • Susan Hill

    Thread
    I thought this video was a well-designed intro. Towards the end, it elucidates the approaches of the realist, the idealist, and the atheist positions.

    youtu.be/pmO-s9qkrgA
  • Cassius

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    This is all very complex but I think the Epicureans would assert that reasoning by analogy is in fact the very definition of amassing evidence before coming to a conclusion, and of what is today thought of as the best scientific method.

    Its…