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  • Lots of interesting stuff there Charles. Do I take it correctly that your main point / question is: (Quote from Charles) It might help to direct the discussion if you further elaborated on what you mean by "holding each other accountable"? It is possible that you are going in a direction that calls to my mind this excerpt from Torquatus in "On Ends": (Quote) if you are talking about "how do you prevent others with different views of pleasure from hurting us and our friends, then it seems to me …
  • It's early in the morning and i don't have time to continue but i think in Eugenios' post THIS part will bear further elaboration: (Quote from Eugenios) I hope Elayne will have a chance to see this as I suspect she will have something to say on this point too.
  • Just for the record, Hiram, I continue to disagree strongly with that essay, (I would have to reread before i can remember HOW strongly, but i know we have discussed this several times before), and in particular disagree I strongly disagree with the statement that "mutual advantage is the key concept in Epicurean social ethics." There is nothing whatsoever that would lead to that "mutual benefit" conclusion. Yes we have to observe that generally we have to expect that people to whom we do harm …
  • (Quote from Hiram)No, I don't see it that way at all. You are quoting the principal doctrines on justice, and justice is one of the "virtues," all of which are subservient to the most fundamental principle that pleasure is the guide of life. The subservience of justice to pleasure is explained thoroughly in Torquatus / On Ends: (Quote) The point of our disagreement is in your statement "Mutual advantage is the key concept in Epicurean social ethics." I don't think that statement is saved by the…
  • Eugenios you have stated your view very clearly and summarized it well in that last sentence "The feeling of pleasure alone is not a sufficient reason to contend that someone is living a pleasurable life." Unfortunately I am out and going to be delayed in responding in full but my understanding of Epicurus is that he would completely disagree with that statement. I believe Epicurus would say that feeling itself is the ultimate standard, and there is no outside authority which can second guess i…
  • Ok now I am back. We could start with all the statements in the letter to Menoeceus about "pleasure" being the alpha and omega, but I think the place to focus at the moment is on the point that feeling is the ultimate guide, beyond which there is no other, and nothing else to make a thing worth choosing and avoiding. I like to look to two places for this explanation: (1) PD2: "2. Death is nothing to us, for that which is dissolved is without sensation; and that which lacks sensation is nothing …
  • Some comments on specific points from your post Eugenios: (Quote from Eugenios)Yes indeed their brains are wired differently, and yes indeed we try to treat them with medication, but that does not change the fact of nature as to what they are experiencing. (I understand that you agree with this point.) Yes we are substituting our judgment for theirs in how they should live, and yes I understand that we think we are doing so for their own best interest. But that is not something that Nature give…
  • (Quote from Eugenios)As I reread your post I don't know that we really have much disagreement on the fundamental points as much as we are on that conclusion and the implications of it. On this "Living pleasurably is not the same as feeling pleasure." I would say that clearly seems to be a problem, maybe mostly because of the implications it raises without answering them. Because this sentence "The feeling of pleasure alone is not a sufficient reason to contend that someone is living a pleasurab…
  • (Quote from Elayne)... and you will get lots of practice recognizing it! As for myself I have a harder time telling whether people don't understand it, or whether they just refuse to accept it. This is think is related to the widespread injection of "humanism" into Epicurean discussions. Everyone (me included) has personal preferences as to how we would like to see the world work, but the humanist seeks to universalize his or her conclusions into a single "best" system for everyone. To be fair …
  • I am coming back to this thread because I want to make a brief point, but I think this is not really the thread I am looking for. Somewhere recently I was making the argument that Epicurus was very clear that there are only two feelings, pleasure and pain, and that this is the foundation of so much else in terms of understanding that pleasure is the ultimate goal. (Very few people want to advocate pain, they simply want to advocate something else.) But what i was looking for was a post where I …
  • Excellent post Elli. Since we are talking about something similar here, let me post this assertion that I think applies here too: So what we're talking about ... comes down to "Is there an 'OBJECTIVE' ranking of Pleasures and Pains to which we can refer to as absolute standards to be embraced and rejected in all situations?" And the answer to that which is dictated by Epicurean understanding of the nature of the universe would presumably be "No such standard exists so no absolute ranking is pos…