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  • So....there's a lot going on here. 😆 Cassius mentioned somewhere the question of the Epicurean theory of images vs the modern theory of light. It is a settled fact that Epicurus got this wrong—objects do not 'shed' atomic films that impinge on the optical nerve. Instead, photons (a particle or a wave, depending on the math/model) strike the object and are reflected to the eye. Epicurus was wrong, but in comparison to his contemporaries he was more nearly right. His theory was still one of introm…
  • And on another note, I am especially interested in where Horace's mind was on this subject. I was attempting to work through his Odes in Latin last night. I need to improve my Latin considerably!
  • (Quote) I understand you perfectly! A similar example would be his compulsory two-year military service. The fact that he served shouldn't be taken as conclusive of anything philosophically, since he didn't have a choice. In general terms, I'm more comfortable saying 'I think Epicurus was wrong about that' than I am diagnosing his motives. I don't actually like to presume to understand anyone's motives, unless given very good reason. In Horace's case we are given good reason; he was a defeated a…
  • It is true, Susan, as you say; Epicurus did not formulate a philosophy of mind that would impress a Gautama, or a Shankara. But neither did these two develop philosophies of nature that would have engaged the attention of an Epicurus. And if there be any room for mysticism in this tradition, it must necessarily be a mysticism of nature, and not of mind. When I contemplate the cosmic scale—when I consider, from my humble vantage point, the deepness of time, the incomprehensibility of the twin ete…
  • There are logical reasons why "one god" doesn't work in Epicurean philosophy, regardless of its other attributes. Nature never furnishes only one thing of a kind. In an infinite cosmos these forms are being endlessly thrown up somewhere. This assumes, of course, that one takes the realist view of Epicurean divinity.
  • I don't think I can agree with Elli that Gaia is a better Greek analogue than Aphrodite. Partially because Aphrodite is the consort of Ares (Mars), partially because Aphrodite has the clearer association with pleasure, and partially because Lucretius was drawing on Empedocles and his duality between Love and Strife. Certainly in Venus' capacity as 'nurturing' and 'mother', she has a resemblance to Gaia. It would be better to say, as the Loeb edition does say, that she "is a figure of extraordina…