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  • I have a copy of that but I have only scanned it. I think there is or would be a TREMENDOUS amount of interest in anything reliably handed down by Philodemus, but not when (1) the Academic world keeps the material under wraps and makes it impossible to study freely by anyone, and (2) what is left is so fragmentary that the narrative is largely a matter of speculative reconstruction so that you don't really know whether to trust the rendering or not. For example this is what I see as to what you…
  • Certainly I agree that any reliable text material should be explored and discussed, so I will try to follow along and comment on anything you post in this area. I know my comments may appear to be negative but I do not intend them that way -- as long as we can present reliable and verifiable material to work with, and we make clear the limitations and what part is speculative and what part is clear, and what part is our own speculations, I'm all in favor of the discussion.
  • Hiram anything on Horace is presumably fully in public domain with cites to the full text where everyone can read the original and see the original context. Do you have cites for those? I note also that the third link does not work.
  • Thanks Hiram. THIS statement from that article is RIDICULOUS, which is why we need to process this material and not accept the existing discussions at face value. And more than that, we have to keep in mind that the majority of such articles are statistically going to be written expressing this kind of ridiculous opinion. Ridiculous, of course, unless we are going to accept that Epicurus was a total hypocrite by amassing the slaves and wealth that he held at the time of his death:
  • I also find these sections in red borderline ridiculous, and this emphasizes to me that it is useless and counterproductive to keep talking about "measure of wealth" without defining what we mean. How is this "measure of wealth" any different from any other measure of any other tool for happiness in the Epicurean perspective? I don't think it is, so why imply that there is some magic here? (talking to the writer, not to you, Hiram).
  • Two more points here: (1) the writer is again being ambigous and tending to make people think that the acquisition of anything by means of ANY harm (pain) is to be avoided, when that is clearly not the case. (2) I think that this distinction about "the sage" is a dangerous distinction to. No doubt Epicurus did consider at time what the "founder of a school" might do different from any other wise person, but a philosophy oriented toward founders of schools is worse than useless -- Epicurean phil…
  • THAT seems to me to be the correct point, but also a fairly obvious one. Is there really anything going on in this discussion OTHER than this point?
  • Ok this is the final paragraph, which seems to me to summarize that nothing new is being added: the ultimate point is that wealth is to be judged just like any other choice, by the amount of pleasure and pain that it brings: I don't have anything really negative to say about the article, and all the detail is certainly interesting from many points of view. But what I do have a problem with is essentially the same as the Epicurean criticism of Socrates: Don't hide the ball. Make your point and e…
  • I think I am agreeing with you Hiram, but I still sense danger in "wealth is preferable to poverty" and "this natural measure of wealth is not arbitrary." I agree that those statements can generally and easily be interpreted in a way that makes clear that the goal is pleasure and that all tools are subjective and relative to context. However lots of people will make the leap on those to hearing "wealth is ALWAYS or INTRINSICALLY preferable to poverty" and "this natural measure of wealth is not …
  • (Quote from Hiram)Ok I don't understand you here at all. I AM addressing Epicurean doctrine, and taking the position that "natural measure of wealth" is no different that natural measure of courage or friendship or anything else. (Quote from Hiram)I think your citing this is further evidence of my concern. "Anticonsumerism" with which of course I agree is in no way near the most important issues involved in Epicurean philosophy, and what I am trying to say in a diplomatic way to you is that I d…
  • Pending further detail from clear texts of Metrodorus and/or Philodemus that says otherwise, my position is that what Elayne is stating IS the "natural measure of weath" and her reaction to the term is more evidence that people think that it implies an absolute. If that term is really present in a well-preserved text (and it sounds like it does) then I am sure I am going to expect that it's meaning is what we are saying -- that there IS no "absolute" rule for measuring wealth that is different …
  • The problem I see here is not that Elayne does not have proper respect for Metrodorus, but that you (Hiram) are submitting fragmentary / speculative texts in support of people like Metrodorus saying things that appear to be in contradiction to the core Epicurean texts which are themselves clear. Here, in this situation, we know from many many text references that there is NO "bright line test" on application of any tool because the end result is "does it bring pleasure?" and that given the natu…
  • (Quote from Godfrey)Yes -- this is an obvious point but one with overriding implications. There IS no "natural measure of wealth" other than that which is arrived at by applying the calculus of pleasure and pain to a particular context. We can call THAT the "natural measure" if we like, and if Metrodorus used the term then I feel sure that is what he meant. But to imply that there is a fixed amount that would apply to all turns Epicurean philosophy on its head.
  • (Quote from Elayne)I had to quote so I could say "LOL" -- excellent illustration, and I do agree with Elayne's point that people today infer from the word "natural" some very strange things -- and that is the problem with referring to "natural measure of wealth" without explanation. In due respect and deference to Metrodorus and Philodemus, I think it highly likely that if we had more complete texts to show the full context, I would expect that they either (1) placed to term in clear context, o…
  • Hiram I do not understand why you conclude that this subject is not of interest here. The SUBJECT is certainly of interest, but even in the title of this thread you are stating that the topic is "The NEGLECT of Metrodorus' Economics" and accusing me or others of "neglecting" it? We don't have a disagreement as to the importance of the subject, we have a disagreement as to your interpretation of what Metrodorus or Philodemus said and meant, and that's where we need to focus the discussion. So wh…
  • (Quote from Hiram)No, it doesn't bother me that "natural measure of wealth is a phrase that is necessarily minimalist, because it can be interpreted as "right-sizing" wealth to produce the greatest pleasure. What bothers me is that you seem to be interpreting it and preaching it as minimalist, when (1) it is not, and (2) minimalism is clearly non-Epicurean. (Quote from Hiram)Well good luck on that, because in Yona using "virtue as a referrent" she is preaching virtue as the goal, so by acceptin…
  • I agree with what Elayne is saying, but I would say that it is "possible" that Metrodorus or Philodemus would or did use the term "natural measure," because they have previously stated clearly that the only tool given by nature for our guidance is pleasure and pain, and in that sense feeling - pleasure and pain - ARE, or at least PROVIDE the tools for assessing, a "natural measure" of anything. But this is so obvious as to hardly need saying, and it does not lead in the direction of "happiness …
  • Hiram what is the source of that clip? Does that clip not indicate by brackets that the word "moderate" (which is the key issue here) is reconstructed and not in the original? This is from the Tsouna edition:
  • This clip (also from Tsouna) seems to me to be good reason to remember that even where we have a passage that is well preserved, it is not necessarily clear that the passage refers to Epicurean views, because the writers are quoting extensively from adverse writers:
  • Ok so that essay is someone looking to draw parallels between Philodemus and Jesus, who also notes that Philodemus' Greek is "difficult." Many reasons for caution.