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  • 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." Tempelis_Epicurus_Porphyry.pdf
  • Is this letter to Marcella something you are familiar with Matt ?
  • Weren't we talking recently somewhere about someone recently interested in this letter to Marcella? I still to this day have not spent much time with it, but it seems to me very dangerous to consider this an Epicurean work as it seems to have lots of unEpicurean thought mixed into it. It would take almost a line-by-line analysis to go through it but I see this as an example which appears to me directly UNEpicurean, because if the gods have decided to give up food and sex for themselves, then the…
  • What? Is this saying that there is a "Divine" law higher than nature? Is that not the inference or "ascend?" If so, then that is a TOTALLY non-Epicurean viewpoint and can be expected to corrupt all the rest of the analysis.
  • When did the Epicurean goal become "Reason" rather than "pleasure?" Answer: "it didn't, regardless of what is said here."
  • Good catch Mike. I don't want to put too much pressure on a single word and maybe there is a translation issue, but yes, climbing a mountain toward virtue being at the summit seems to be a standard Stoic theme. I recall Lucian using it to describe the Stoic figure in Hermotimus: Her. Alas, Lycinus, I am only just beginning to get an inkling of the right way. Very far off dwells Virtue, as Hesiod says, and long and steep and rough is the way thither, and travellers must bedew it with sweat. Ly. A…
  • (Quote from Mike Anyayahan) From Diogenes Laertius: He will be more deeply moved by feelings, but this will not prove an obstacle to wisdom. A man cannot become wise with every kind of physical constitution, nor in every nation. I thought of that because of your comment about a passionate character, which seems to me to be consistent with being "more deeply moved by feelings." After finding it and seeing the next sentence, I wonder if the thoughts are not related, and in fact I wonder if it is p…
  • I agree. I am not trying to be patronizing and I know that you are still reading DeWitt, but I think your observations are good and you have a knack for this Mike I really don't think any of this is that difficult for anyone who doesn't get sidetracked on "minimalism at all costs" and "the goal of life is ataraxia." "Minimalism" is the wrong goal for the obvious reason that the goal of life is pleasure, and the principle stated in VS 63. "Frugality too has a limit, and the man who disregards it …
  • (Quote from Mike Anyayahan) Excellent choice. My experience is very little with people who talk about Buddhism, but the Stoics love the term "mindfulness" so "mindset" seems a good way to distinguish it. Or simply "attitude" as I think DeWitt generally uses. (Quote from Mike Anyayahan) Yes exactly. Such an obvious and simple point, and yet so hard to get people to come to terms with. They should be obviously not ends in themselves, so WHY do them? That question has an answer, and the answer is w…
  • Good to hear from you Matt and I hope you are well too. Someone recently raised the topic of this letter to Marcella and I see back when we discussed it earlier it appears we did not sufficiently cook it deeply enough, and the aroma of stoicism / neoplatonism lingers still around it, waiting to be separated and dispelled!
  • Well I am not sure that I should "Like" your last comment, Matt, but I do think that someone who thinks as you are currently thinking would find a lot to like in Lucian's Hermotimus (which i think is ultimately pro-Epicurean): Hermotimus. Oh, why but that I could cry like a baby? It cuts me to the heart, it is all so true; it is too much for me, when I think of my wretched, wasted years—paying all that money for my own labor, too! I am sober again after a debauch, I see what the object of my mau…