***THIS WEEK IN EPICUREAN PHILOSOPHY – 1/3/2015***

***THIS WEEK IN EPICUREAN PHILOSOPHY – 1/3/2015***

** This is the eighty-seventh 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 1342. Last week this time we were 1293. We continue to grow steadily, and we welcome all participants and lurkers. If you apply to participate and don’t receive a reply promptly, please send an email to an admin about your interest in the group. 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!”

**The holiday period is almost over, at least here in the USA, but the forum has been busy this week anyway. Here’s a report on the last seven days:
** Most-Commented Post of the Week: Of the new posts this week, the winner here was probably that of Phil S., who thanked us for being added to the group and then immediately informed us that he was a great admirer of Diogenes the Cynic! 😉 I want to thank Phil for his good humor and attitude in the ensuing discussion. His comment prompted a discussion focused on Lucian of Samosata, who wrote an essay entiled “The Cynic” which can be construed in a number of ways. This article contains some compliments for the Cynics, but a strong argument can be made that the negative outweighs the good. Regardless, as in the essay “Hermotimus,” Lucian definitely advised that we expose ourselves to many different schools so as to be best able to choose between them. We have many people who drop in with many different backgrounds, and it is very helpful to have discussions like this so we can expand our knowledge of the issues. That’s really the only way to get a good understanding of how Epicurus chose to address them. Phil’s thread can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/768273636554932/

**In other posts of the week:

** The Cambridge book referenced last week with letters from the middle ages contained two other letters besides that of Cosma Raimondi. The letter by Francesco Filelfo had some good material as well: https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/766856000030029/

** Bryan H posted another of his excellent readings in the Latin text of Lucretius. He is very talented at this, and these are very interesting to see and hear.https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=369763649870116

** New member June Z posted a link to a Simon and Garfunkel song regarding death. https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/768044793244483/ But at the same time she and Mitchell CW agreed that they liked the more upbeat “Don’t Fear the Reaper” better!)

** Hiram posted a link to a good article about “wave-particle duality and quantum uncertainty.” https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/767487776633518/

** Takis P. posted a happy new year video from Athens https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/768841359831493/ As did one of our Greek participants, Μπάμπης Επίκουρος Πατζόγλου https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=977207465640901&set=gm.769158943133068&type=1

** Earlier today I posted a link to a newspaper article from 1858 which contained a classic defense of Epicurus. As time goes by we’ll get access to more and more material over the internet that was previously unavailable. No doubt there are many other “relatively unknown” articles and even books like those of Frances Wright which would be very helpful to us, and I hope we’ll find much more like this. https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/770495319666097/

**Patrick B. asked a good question about whether the Epicurean description of the divine nature would apply equally to one or many “gods”? https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/770128583036104/

**Elli P posted a New Years card for us – look closely and you’ll see a familiar face in front of the candles. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10205080417833157&set=gm.768399193209043&type=1

**Hiram posted a link to his page where people can indicate their location, as a step toward one day moving from virtual relationships to face-to-face connections. https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/770526656329630/

**The last post I’d like to discuss for this week is my own, from yesterday – a new essay I composed entitled “Toward a Better Understanding of Epicurus – Eight Areas of Focus for 2015. https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/770119906370305/

The eight areas I picked out in which controversies exist, and where greater precision can be reached as we resarch further, were:

1) Atomism vs. Universalism
2) Dogmatism vs. Skepticism
3) Free Will vs. Determinism
4) Hedonism vs. Epicurean Philosophy
5) Active AND Static Pleasures vs. The Greatest Pleasure IS The Absence of Pain
6) Empiricism vs. the Epicurean Canon
7) Living Simply” vs. Living Pleasurably
8) Living Unknown vs. Living Pleasurably

While I indicated my own views on each, there are important distinctions and explanations that are necessary in order to gain a good grasp of each question. The real problem is that we come to these questions conditioned by a lifetime of teachings from religion and philosophy that conflict with the Epicurean viewpoint. That makes it hard for us to understand the reasons for the disputes, and sometimes it is all so foreign that we don’t even realize that a dispute existed.

In the same way I closed that article, let me close this first Weekly Update of the New Year:

I have enjoyed and appreciated the interaction I have had with all of you who have read and responded to my comments in the past. I hope my work has been of some interest and help in your own thinking and living. I also hope that posts like this will encourage you to pursue your own study and writing, and that together we can, with 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.”

**All in all it was another excellent week; thanks to one 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!

Cassius Amicus

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