**This is the eighty-fourth in a series of weekly reports on news from the world of Epicurean Philosophy. Our home base for discussion is https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/ Copies of these posts, and links to active Epicurean websites, are stored at EpicurusCentral.wordpress.com.
**As of tonight, our group has grown to 1223. Last week this time we were 1149. We continue to grow steadily, and we welcome all participants and lurkers. We are here to discuss Epicurean Philosophy, have fun, and in the words of 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!”
**We’ve had another active week of discussion so let’s check the highlights:
** Most-Commented Post of the Week: It looks like this award this week goes to Jilia Ohl, who I hope will forgive me for highlighting her, since the topic of her post was related to privacy. 😉 Julia announce that she was starting a new “closed group” entitled “EpiStoics,” which is “for those interested in combining and modernizing the Epicurean and Stoic philosophies.” Although readers of my posts know that I think this combination has as much chance of success as blending oil and water, I know there are many people who are still studying the issues and maintain that some kind of blend is possible. Julia’s posts have always been constructive and I wish her well with the new group. One of her key reasons for starting it is to make it “closed,” which means people can post there without their comments showing up in the main Facebook feed. Although it has major drawbacks, that feature has important pluses, so if you have the desire to comment on controversial philosophical matters without appalling your mother and your aunt, give Julia’s group a try. https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/756296391085990/
It is a fact of life in 2014 that Stoicism is probably much better known as a philosophy than that of Epicurus. All students of Latin are introduced to Cicero at an early age, and many come into contact with Cicero’s “On Duties” as an example of high classical morality. I myself was deeply interested in Stoicism for years, and I retain a great appreciation (at least in some respects) for many ancient Stoics.
So as I have been down that path myself, I mean no disrespect to anyone (other than to the ancient Stoics 😉 ) when I say that I think that interest in Stoicism tends to dissipate once people begin to look past the “therapeutic techniques” for which Stoicism is renowned (in my mind, again very questionably). The more one begins to to learn the details of Epicurean philosophy, and begins to see why the two schools were so hostile to each other in antiquity, the differences between the two become stark and in my mind irreconcilable. I am sure that the Stoics would say the same about Epicurus, but this is why I have no fear or concern about people studying Stoicism — if they are rigorous students and really begin the study the texts, they will see these differences for themselves.
Stoicism has prospered for thousands of years by perfecting the art of high-sound talk and aspirations, while remaining very difficult to pin down about exactly what those aspirations mean, or why we should seek to achieve them. The issues involved that are behind the Stoic ambiguity are well explained in Frances Wright’s “A Few Days In Athens,” and, ironically enough, also by Cicero’s Epicurean speaker in “On Ends.” The sooner those who are interested in Stoicism read these two works, the sooner they will begin to see and understand the profound differences between the two philosophies.
Enough for now about Stoicism! Julia’s post was one influence that prompted me to post the other item I would like to highlight this week, my post of earlier today entitled “A Refresher on Epicurean Basics.” It is helpful to talk about other philosophies, and contrast them with Epicurus, especially when they serve as a necessary frame of reference, given that the modern world is familiar more with the competing philosophies. On the other hand, we owe it here in the Epicurean Philosophy group to help out our new participants by being sure that we also post a steady stream of basic material that focuses on Epicurus exclusively. That was the purpose of this post, and I encourage everyone else in our group as well to post their own comments, and ask questions about, core Epicurean viewpoints. https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/758959927486303/
**In other posts of the week –
**Hiram posted about a psychological study of people “who seem nice all the time.” https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/756407901074839/
**Yiannis T. posted a link to a series of videos on major Greek philosophies. I didn’t have time to go through these so I can’t vouch for them, but here they are: https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/756609907721305/
**Hiram posted a link to where comments can be left on his “Tending the Epicurean Garden” ebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/756916934357269/
**Omel R. started a discussion on the practices of the ancient Epicureans: https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/756078207774475/
**Omel also asked (and this one got many more comments) about Epicurus’ advice to people who are in ill health. https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/755962171119412/
**Mohamad Q. posted to an article with potential relevance to the eternal universe theorem: https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/757397320975897/
**Alexander R posted about his hard-won “Tea of Olympus”: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10204197050698714&set=gm.756950701020559&type=1
**Hiram posted to a video on the ancient “Sophists”: https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/757674214281541/
**Alexander R. posted to an article exploring the brain’s processing of “reality” and “imagination” https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/757297604319202/
**Alexander also posted to an interesting physics article exploring how fluid dynamics may help unravel issues in standard quantum physics theories. https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/757809900934639/
**Hassnain A. posted to a graphic of the “riddle of Epicurus” – https://www.facebook.com/hassnain.abdurrehman?fref=nf
**Christian Nunez posted about political implications of Epicurean theory. We generally try to stay away from politics and the unresolvable controversies it generates, but there are special cases, especially where men such as Thomas Jefferson (or in this case, Marx) specifically mentioned Epicurus in their own writings. https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/758283030887326/
**Hiram posted to one of the many excellent passages from “A Few Days In Athens” – this one on how knowledge relates to the goal of living happily. https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/758608014188161/
**We have seen an influx of people from eastern Europe and even Russia, and I commented on that here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/758188000896829/ We welcome the participation of all and we hope that regardless of your geography you will will free to comment on your own applications of Epicurean philosophy. No matter where we live, distant lands often seem “exotic” to us, and it is fascinating to see how people from very different backgrounds approach the same material.
**Omel R. posted on the Mazlow hierarchy of needs and its relationship to Epicurean approaches. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10205563274349154&set=gm.758471367535159&type=1
**And then last but far from least, Amy J. posted on an article about “Epicurus and the Philosophy of Cooking.” This was an excellent chance to discuss the details of what Epicurus really said, vs. what people tend to *think* he said. https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/759051024143860/
**All in all it was another excellent week, and on behalf of the admins we thank each and all for your participation. 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 world of Epicurean Philosophy by checking the links here: EpicurusCentral.wordpress.com
PEACE AND SAFETY!