***THIS WEEK IN EPICUREAN PHILOSOPHY – 1/17/2015***
** This is the eighty-ninth 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 1360. Last week this time we were 1353. 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 get quite a number of “spam” applicants, and that slows down our approvals at times. If you want to participate and are not approved immediately, don’t hesitate to send an email to one of the admins. 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!”
**In addition to more commentary as a result of the fallout from the Paris terrorist attack, we had a number of very substantive exchanges this week about basic issues of philosophy, several of which I want to highlight.
** First, the winner of the Most-Commented Post of the Week goes to Phil Somers, who posted an innocent question about Epicurean diet and got blasted with contention about the epigrams of Philodemus and the Epicurean view of living simply! https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/775337989181830/ This thread contains much good material about the (relatively little) information that IS known about Epicurus’ commetary on food, but it branched off into a discussion of the purpose and methods for living simply, and how the Epicurean view of that would differ from the Cynic view. And all, if I recall correctly, without citing one of the passages that is most well known, that Epicurus said that we should be at least as much concerned about *who* we take our meals with as *what* we eat. One of the sources for this is Seneca, who wrote: “Seneca, Letters to Lucilius, 19.10: Epicurus says “you should be more concerned about inspecting whom you eat and drink with, than what you eat and drink. For feeding without a friend is the life of a lion and a wolf.”
**Another well-commented post was my link to news reports on the Pope and his statements in favor of restriction on free speech. https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/776000475782248/ This is a well-worn topic, but very important nonetheless. In close relation to that post, I also commented on an issue within Epicurean circles as to how closely Epicurus would advise us to participate, or not participate, in public disputes such as the Charlie Hebdo attack. In this post I referred to several cites from Lucian which provide precedent that we need to consider. https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/774616935920602/
**Also this week I posted a series of substantive philosophy posts on the relationship between Epicurus and the Stoics, and why there is so much confusion today about how they relate to each other. The first was a passage from Francisco de Quevedo discussing the issue: https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/774579095924386/
**The next day, I posted an even discussion of how the Stoic view of the goal of life differs from the Epicurean view, using as a text a section of Cicero’s “On Ends.” deeper https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/775012229214406/
**Last in this sequence, but one I hope everyone had a chance to check out, was link to an audio version of the full letter of Cosma Raimondi in defense of Epicurus. This is an important document from the Fourteenth Century and shows that the arguments recorded in Cicero’s On Ends were far from dead even more than a thousand years later. https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/775366345845661/
**In other posts of the week, Hiram posted that he had uploaded many of his research papers on Epicurus up to the web at Academia.edu. https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/774848149230814/
**Teddy M. posted a link to the WIKI at Epicurus.info. This often gets overlooked as it is a sort of sub-site of the main page, but it is an excellent resource on its own. https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/775335985848697/
**Hiram posted a quote from Cosma Raimondi at his tumblr.com page for Epicurus. If you use Tumblr be sure to check it out. https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/775353862513576/
**Alexander R posted a link to an article on Elementary particles. https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/775800809135548/
**Hiram posted a link to the sad but revealing story that a young man who had written a book about experiencing “heaven” while in a coma has admitted it was all made up. https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/776161472432815/
**Hiram also posted about a children’s bool series that featured a section on Epicurus. Though parts of the book described on the page might not have been exactly accurate, t was great to see Epicurus get recognition for his importance.
**In closing, it may be the dead of winter in the northern hemisphere, but all sorts of controversies in all sorts of fields – religious, political, and economic – are heating up rather than cooling off. Epicurean philosophy has much to offer in all of these fields, and even though Epicurus advised that we not pursue careers in politics, sometimes these controversies refuse to leave us alone, and we need to be prepared on how to deal with them. Retreating to the safety of a garden is not always – or even often – possible, and mental disturbance over such issues can be just as troubling, if not more, than if we were in the middle of them physically ourselves. The world needs an Epicurean viewpoint more than ever, and I hope as many of our participants in the group as possible will keep in touch with us here and help us all plan to make our lives as happy as possible.
**All in all it was another good 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!