***THIS WEEK IN EPICUREAN PHILOSOPHY – 8/30/2014***

**This is the seventieth 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/ Copies of these posts are stored at EpicurusCentral.wordpress.com.

**As of tonight, our participant total has grown to 432. Last week this time we were 393. We are growing steadily, and we welcome all the new participants! If you know others who would like to discuss Epicurean Philosophy, please let them know. In so doing, you can, like Lucian, “strike a blow for Epicurus – that great man whose holiness and divinity of nature were not shams, who alone had and imparted true insight into the good, and who brought deliverance to all that consorted with him!”

** Another good new graphic meme by Elli this week, this time on Metrodorus: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10204178758172229&set=gm.711863655529264&type=1 Elli generally posts her graphics in English and both modern and ancient Greek subtitles, and that helps with interaction with our friends in Greece, of which we have more and more all the time.

**Alexander Rios has continued to lead a number of very interesting threads on physics. The first one this week was on the characteristics of Epicurean atoms: https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/711794605536169/

**Followed by one on space-time: https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/711794605536169/

** We had a lengthy thread this week on comparing Epicurean philosophy with Buddhism: https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/711571078891855/ It seems there are so many variations of Buddhist thought that it is hard to pin down core differences with specificity, but we regularly encounter people who ask about this so it will be good to develop a basic understanding of the differences and similarities.

**Tom Merle started a thread with a link on a reporter who returned from Syria. That prompted significant discussion of the deteriorating world situation especially in the middle east: https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/711998442182452/

**Haris from Greece continued his series on the Canon of Truth with the “Fourth Criterion” – Present Impressions of the Mind. We’ve had a lot of discussion as this series has proceeded and while differences remain, I think most all of us are in agreement about the essential points. https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/712224882159808/

**David Peluso posted several good photos of the Bust of Epicurus that is now in the Metropolitan Museum in New York. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=809737392390948&set=gm.712867308762232&type=1

**David also posted photos of the Epicurean inscription in Oinoanda: https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/712859665429663/

**Alexander posted a link that turned into a particularly important thread on the issue of “nothing from nothing” https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/712634388785524/

**Tom posted a link to an article on “mental virtues” which contained some good advice, and also gave me the opportunity to beat the dead horse of distinguishing Stoic concepts of virtue from those of Epicurus: https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/712793485436281/ If you’re not familiar with this point, the thread contains a clear discussion of this vital issue.

**Earlier today I posted a link to a new essay by Richard Dawkins on “Essentialism.” This brief article gives a good explanation, from another perspective, of the dangers of the Platonic (and Aristotleian) tendency to consider abstractions to be more important than the facts of reality. This tendency, needless to say, is not nearly so much of a problem in Epicurean Philosophy, and indeed many of the Epicurean doctrines are targeted at defeating it. https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/713263048722658/

**One of our long-time participants in the group will be traveling to Athens next week and making a stopover at the location of the original garden. If you have ideas for pictures he should take or anything he should not miss on the trip, please add your thoughts to this thread: https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/713093345406295/

**That last point makes me think of a project we ought to consider. Now that we have access to good friends in Greece, it would be interesting to compile a list of “Epicurean places and things to see while visiting Greece.” I have never been able to make the trip myself, but some day I would like to. No doubt such a trip should include a stopover in Italy at Pompeii and the Villa of the Papyri in Herculaneum, but outside of the site of the Garden in Athens I am not sure what other Greek historical spots would be good to include. If anyone is particularly interested in this feel free to start a thread – otherwise I will do that myself at some point in the future.

** In closing, please remember that we invite your questions and discussions on any matter relating to ancient or modern Epicureanism, no matter what your level of expertise in asking the question. Even if you are a younger person studying Epicurus for a philosophy class, we invite you to ask your questions here. There is no better way for us to learn more, and have fun doing it, than to discuss Epicurean philosophy issues with new people who are sincerely interested.

Thanks to all who participated this week, and we look forward to another active week ahead.

**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

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