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  • Here is a new article by Catherine Wilson:https://www.newstatesman.com/i…sm-philosophy-we-need-now Who can disagree with the title? (Quote) All of us in the USA are no doubt aware that political tensions right now are probably higher than any time in our lifetimes, so this is probably a particularly good time to adhere to the posting guidelines for the greater good of our mutual project here. I almost want to post the article solely for this following paragraph, and I might pull the paragraph ou…
  • Actually I want to pull back my first good impression of that bliss drug comment. Now that I look at it again, is the analysis really correct? Is she in fact showing that she does not understand the importance of maintaining that pleasure is pleasure and good in itself, and that the reason that the problem with a bliss drug is its IMPRACTICABILITY, not the desire for total pleasure? The second paragraph seems to hint at the right analysis, but..... she isn't stating WHY it is good to experience …
  • The more i thought about it the more i expected Elayne to blast the article, and I see I was not disappointed. In my view this is one of Elaynes strongest areas (of many). I understand (I think) why Don reacted the way he did, because I see this article from several different angles. But there's something fundamentally wrong with Catherine Wilson's approach to Epicurus which really gives us some great oppportunities to discuss. I really think there is a lot of important material here to digest, …
  • (Quote from Don) Ok this is I think a good summary of your point and I certainly agree with it - you're cutting her a lot of slack because of this, and indeed that title -- explicitly promoting Epicurus over Stoicism - is impossible not to appreciate. How infrequently we see anything like that in the popular material that we read is a testament to how bad things are out there. Catherine Wilson deserves tremendous credit from that point of view. So within that context I can certainly appreciate t…
  • (Quote from Don) I'm afraid we can't unwind this without being more clear what we are agreeing with, because i am no longer certain what we are talking about as Wilson's opinion. As to the bliss drug, let's ask IF IT WORKED TO PRODUCE PERPETUAL LIFETIME BLISS (which seems to be the issue, some of us are presuming it works, others are simply concluding it can't), would you take it? Again, for purposes of this answer, let's presume that the hypothetical is that the bliss drug is in fact effective …
  • As to your last paragraph, "To bring this back to Wilson..." I totally agree. As to the first paragraph, I see we are, as you warned, in the rabbit hole of dealing with hypothetical without firmly agreeing on the terms of the hypothetical first. As to Wilson (not you) I see that as another example of my concern about her logical consistency. If you're not going to go all the way with the logical argument in a piece like that, I would say it likely does not make sense to bring it up, else you end…
  • (Quote from Don) (Quote from Elayne) OK I see this discussion as reinforcement of the need to be more aggressive in the logical side. As Elayne is pointing out, the only way to resolve these questions is to look at the definitions, and that's the problem that has to be addressed with hypotheticals at the very beginning -- stating the terms extremely clearly. Does the difficulty with clarify in hypotheticals mean that we should never use them? I can see the possibility of arguing both sides of th…
  • (Quote from Elayne) I really think I agree with your comments Elayne, but I don't think we have fleshed out what we really mean by "logic." We are using logic or reason or something whenever we communicate, and we're using logic and reason in all our "formulations." And we agree that the logic has to be based on observations of the senses. So i think that the issue is coming to an articulation of what we mean by "true reasoning" so that we can apply some kind of label to the process of the deduc…
  • We certainly have a variety of opinions -- maybe we can come closer on certain points or maybe not - but I do think we're all on the same team that pleasure is the key to all this, however we conceive the best way to explain it to be the case. So when Elayne says (Quote from Elayne) I would maintain that it is, and that it is a function of there being the only two feelings and thus the measure of one by definition being the inverse of the other. But I don't dispute that Elayne is also correct th…
  • (Quote from Elayne) I certainly agree with this, but I don't perceive myself as asserting that. I mean to be saying only that Epicurus was using logical arguments to respond to the Platonists on their own terms, not that he was in any way giving up his own view of the faculties as the means of contact with reality. That passage I cited where Torquatus was referencing divergent opinions within the Epicurean school has a lot in it to be considered, just like the Diogenes Laertius reference to late…
  • Some of the material we are discussing here deserves to be pulled out and discussed in more detail in a separate thread, but the discussion is so integrated here I doubt it makes sense to try to move any of these posts to a separate section. However on the issue of the relationship of reason and logic and the faculties, and how reason and logic work in Epicurean philosophy, we're going to be coming back to that over and over as long as we discuss Epicurus. I therefore want to set up a new thread…
  • (Quote from Elayne) My thought is that we're unlikely to make too much more progress in this thread on the "role of logic" question, so what we should really get back to and is more to the point in terms of Wilson's article is this point being made by Elayne here, where she is focusing in on the ultimate conclusion that "Epicurus never places anything greater than pleasure." As I see it, that's exactly correct, and it includes wisdom or prudence -- those are valuable only insofar as they lead to…
  • Thanks Don! If it turns out that we turn our attention broadly to PD10, maybe we should also branch off and discuss that in more detail somewhere here: Doctrine 10 - If the things that produce the pleasures of profligates... Just in case Ms. Wilson ever drops by herself, we should probably at least think about keeping this thread focused on the broader question of whether she is doing a good job of describing Epicurus' position on pleasure is the ultimate goal.
  • 1 - Well for at least Elayne and I in our geographic area of the USA, "ya'll" is by far the preferred and dominant pronoun 2 - I do think it's easy to talk past each other on several of these subjects as I see them as subtle and complex. Sometimes it's a challenge to keep up good spirits and not get discouraged, but I am personally convinced that hammering these things out is one of the most important things we can do and is not only educational for us but could be of great use to other people a…
  • Ha - I started to list you along with Elayne and me in the "ya'll" camp but I pulled back and erased that. Probably my doing so and your post are absolute scientific proof of the existence of telepathy in humans. As as for the intermundia we have lots of odd place names in the Southeast but I am not sure I have ever seen "Intermundia 10 miles" on any of the road signs!