***THIS WEEK IN EPICUREANISM – 7/26/2014***

**This is the sixty-fifth in a series of weekly updates with news from the world of Epicureanism. Our home base for discussion of Epicurean philosophy is https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/ and copies of these posts are stored at EpicurusCentral.wordpress.com.
**As of tonight, our participant total has grown to 226, and we seem to be growing by at least 30 or so each week. Welcome to all the new participants!
**Activity is picking up in the forum to the extent that I may have to change the focus of my weekly update, and comment mainly on the big threads and big events, leaving other links largely uncommented. Regardless of that, I will continue to list the main events and topics of the week here at the top of the update.

**One topic I want to be sure to highlight is the publication of a paper that Christo Yapajakis, Assistant Professor of Neurogenetics at the University of Athens Medical School in Athens, Greece, and founding member of the Friends of Epicurean Philosophy (“Garden of Athens”), gave at the 26th International Conference of Philosophy held this past week in Athens. The conference topic was “Greek Philosophy And Moral And Political Issues Of Our Global Era,’ and Dr. Yapijakis delivered a paper entitled “The Need Of The Epicurean Concept Of ‘The Pursuit Of Happiness’ in the European Union.” Dr. Yapajakis gave us permission that we repost this as widely as possible, and with help from Elli we linked and posted not only the speech but some brief comments about the reaction to it at the conference. https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/699084323473864/ I think it is great that we have direct communications with fans of Epicurus in his homeland, and I hope the forum will grow as a means of communication between them and fans of Epicurus across the world.

** In what was probably the most-commented thread of the week, Mark Cubbedge started a thread on the nature of the gods in Epicurean philosophy. This thread went in all sorts of directions before it was over, but it contained what I thought were excellent comments form many people on many very important topics. I probably need to start highlighting a “thread of the week,” so that if you missed it you get tipped to go back and check it. I think this week, this thread is it. Thanks Mark! https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/697729196942710/

** In another recent thread worth highlighting, Alexander Rios started a document in which he is summarizing his thoughts on the message of the inscription of Diogenes of Oinoanda. https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/699072860141677/ We’ve had some good comments on that already, but mainly I want to comment that preparing our own outline is one of the best ways to better understand Epicureanism. Epicurus himself suggested as much in the opening of his letter to Herodotus, and Thomas Jefferson showed that he knew how to summarize the philosophy in an outline he attached to his letter to William Short. I expect discussion on Alexander’s thread to continue during the week, and I hope you’ll check his example and consider following it yourself.

**Another post not to miss is that thanks to Google Street view, we have the ability to look at the location that is the most likely spot where the original garden was founded. Check it out here: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=298187243694424&set=gm.698333223548974&type=1 Thanks to Bryan for that.

**I want to be sure to mention that this week we saw the participation for the first time of Mr. Charis Dimitriadis, who is the writer of the book entitled : “EPICURUS – Seeking For Happiness In Everyday Life – An alternative way of life for the human of our times”. I am afraid that this book is only in Greek at the moment, but at some point maybe we will see an English translation. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10203918035574327&set=gm.696357870413176&type=1 I have been very impressed with Charis’ posts this week, and hope he will be back often. He was a major participant in the thread on the gods mentioned above, and his comments there are well worth reading.

**Hiram posted an article on “Reasonings About Neuroscience” https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/697628203619476/ which looks very good.

**Another post with some significant participation was started by M. Samson, who asked: “Dear friends, I have been reading very interesting articles about the Epicurean way of life from many of you. I have one question that has been coming to mind daily. How would Epicurus or his followers advice one to live or which attitude to adopt in a world that is full of evil and very unpleasant scenes as we have today? Thanks in advance.” I think you’ll find the responses to that post of very good quality. https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/696991760349787/

**If you’re not familiar with the epitaph of Seikilos, it is one of the oldest musical compositions in existence. I thank another of our Greek members whose name I cannot pronounce for reminding us of it! https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/697078663674430/

** Yiannis Tsapras, another recent addition, posted an interesting video on Corneliua Castoriadis. Although Castoriadis was not explicitly Epicurean, he was an influential Greek of the mid-twentieth century and as he got older his views shifted from Marxism to views on autonomy much more consistent with Epicureanism. I suspect over time, if we continue to be able to communicate with our Greek friends, this is a name it will be useful to know about. https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/696179337097696/

**I want to note the existence of another Epicurean community here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/696724773709819/ Its leader, Nathan Hartmann, posted a nice note inviting us to visit.

**This past week included the twentieth, and I posted this excerpt from Thomas Jefferson which included the phase “The Greater Part of Life is Sunshine” https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/696228283759468/ The post is really just an excerpt from Jefferson’s “Head and Heart” letter, which, once you are familiar with Epicurean themes, you will find very interesting and familiar.

** Most recently as the week wound to a close Hiram linked to an article entitled “How Can “Moral Science” Exist?” I take it from the comments that the author’s point of view is not necessarily Epicurean, but he grapples in an interesting way with issues that are important to us all. https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/699030316812598/

** I know I have skipped over a lot but I want to bring this week’s update to a close on an important and positive note. We’re really seeing a lot of new people and a lot of new activity on the Forum. That is highly positive, but at the same time there are inevitably going to be some glitches, misunderstandings, and things said which will probably be regretted. Please remember that we are all new at Facebook forum communications, and most of us are also new to Epicureanism. Please give each other the benefit of the doubt and presume comments are benevolent when there is any doubt. If anything gets out of hand, please report it to the moderators and it will be dealt with. Perhaps the hardest thing to do is to calibrate exactly how much spiciness to allow in the debate before things are deemed over the line. Philosophy is a rough and tumble game, but we ask that you keep your descriptions of others as respectful as possible, and that you eliminate profanity and harshness from your posting. This is FACEBOOK. It is intended to be a community of friends, and it is intended to be fun. It is focused on Epicurus and not general philosophy, but we have participants from all over just about every possible political and geographic and philosophical background you care to imagine. We have participants from the political far left to the far right, and just about all increments in between. I am not aware of too many (or any) participants who promote fundamentalist religion, but rest assured that those will come. We will try to be slow to anger and slow to remove offending participants, but please honor the “About” section and be sure that your posts are relevant to Epicurus and made in a good faith effort to discuss his philosophy constructively.

**OK that’s it for the week. Feel free to post any comments in this thread.

I apologize if I missed anyone or anything. As always, if you have any comments, questions, or suggestions, please add a comment or participate in the Epicurean Philosophy Facebook Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/ or hop around the internet word of Epicureanism by checking the links here: EpicurusCentral.wordpress.com

PEACE AND SAFETY!
Cassius Amicus

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s