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  • My guess is that of every ten new articles you see on Epicurus, eight of them are going to leave a totally false impression of what Epicurus really taught, such as this one, which makes Epicurus sound like an ascetic competing with stoics and monks to see how many desires he could suppress. And as usual the inaccurate conclusions can be traced back to the single misunderstanding -- the "BUT....." --- that seems to impress ascetics most: "“Epicurus’s version agrees that pleasure is the greatest g…
  • Someone asked about the Cyreniacs and my view is: Diogenes Laertius thought this was the most significant difference, which sounds likely. Key points are that Epicurus endorses BOTH pleasures of the mind and those of the body, which the Cyreniacs only endorsed those of the body, and Epicurus held that pleasures of the mind can be greater than those of the body, while the Cyreniacs apparently held a different view: "Such are his {Epicurus'] views on life and conduct; and he has discoursed upon th…
  • "Sometimes possessions cause more worries to us than actual enjoyment." << There's absolutely no doubt about that, and I've definitely seen that in my own life too. But I would be cautious about ever referring to asceticism as any more desirable than extravagance, per VS 63, which would appear to link the two as exactly analogous errors: "There is also a limit in simple living, and he who fails to understand this falls into an error as great as that of the man who gives way to extravagance." And…
  • Great post Florius, and I also agree with Martin's point. "Common sense" gets thrown around to easily, but it does indeed seem to me to be "common sense" that "moderation" as an inflexible rule is as obviously subject to exceptions as any other inflexible rule. Every time I think about this issues I can't get out of my mind the Barry Goldwater line: "Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice, moderation in pursuit of justice no virtue." That line sounds (sounded) so smooth, and in some circumst…