Welcome to This Week in Epicurean Philosophy for the week of 10/17/15! To subscribe (at no cost) click here.
This is the one hundred and twenty-eighth in a series of weekly reports on news from the world of Epicurean Philosophy. At the Epicurean Philosophy Group we are dedicated to the study and productive discussion of Epicurean Philosophy and its application to daily life. Our goal is also, in the words of Lucian, to “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!”
Note Re: Epicurus.info and the Epicurus wiki.
Over the last two weeks we’ve mentioned the death of Erik Anderson, founder of the Epicurus.info website and the associated wiki, two of the most helpful Epicurean sites on the internet. As of this writing those sites are still offline, but they can be accessed at https://web.archive.org/web/20141217100328/http://epicurus.info/and https://web.archive.org/web/20140530150345/http://wiki.epicurus.info/Main_Page .
This Week: Applying Epicurus To Modern Problems.
Before we can apply Epicurus to our own lives, we first have to understand his advice, and that is not always as easy as it first appears. We all know that Epicurus considered pleasure to be the guide of life, but just as in any other philosophy (or in any religion) there are plenty of questions about how that should be done. We often run into situations where there are competing demands and priorities, and we need to know how to approach those situations where the evidence for what we should do is conflicting.
That’s the reason for the recent post entitled “The Epicurean Method of Analogy in Philodemus, and its Vital Importance to Us.” Epicurus didn’t just pick an unconventional goal of life at random, he claimed that the goal of life, and the method for living it properly, all derive from the nature of the universe. The atomistic view of the universe that Epicurus taught led him to stress that thinking itself is a function of the atoms, and must operate consistently with the elements if it is to be successful.
Thus by the time Herculaneum as destroyed and the Epicurean library was buried in the debris, Philodemus had produced a work highlighting the differences between Epicurean methods of thinking and those of other schools. The part of the work that survived has been translated by Phillip and Estelle De Lacy, and the result, with an excellent commentary, is easily accessible at the link featured in the article.
Only one small part of Philodemus’ work is featured in the recent blog post, and there is much more to be learned from Philodemus’ argument. But the bottom line is that successful rational thinking is not reserved for the gods, or for the experts in syllogistic logic. It is essential for happy living that we have confidence in the results of our thinking, and that’s exactly what we can achieve if base our thinking on the evidence nature gives to us, and not on the opinions of other men.
Also From the Facebook Group this week:
This past week at the Epicurean Philosophy Group contained a post onthe hypothetical content of modern ceremonies for important life events based on Epicurean principles.
Also, in the most-diiscussed post of the week, Jason B. posted about how modern psychological problems might be addressed using Epicurean principles.
Recent significant posts at NewEpicurean.com:
|“Quantity” Does Not Equal “Type”The diagram associated with this post is intended to dramatize the question: Does any quantity of a thing ever change that thing into its opposite? When Epicurus stated that there…|
|Peace and Safety For Your Twentieth of September! – An Overview of the Letter to HerodotusPeace and Safety to the Epicureans of today, no matter where you might be! This month for the Twentieth, I offer a quick outline of the major points of…|
|Fundamentals of Epicurean Philosophy – An Outline(Click on the bullet to the left of each item to expand.) This outline represents my latest aid to discussing Epicurus with people who are new to the philosophy. I can’t…|
|All Dressed Up But No Place To GoThanks to Alexander R. for linking to this video at the Science Channel, which alleges that the robot in this example is well on its way to learning emotional associations.…|
|A Season Of The Year To Remember Fallen EpicureansChecking back over the last four years, it seems that late in August of odd-numbered years I have resubmitted the following post on “A Season of the Year To Remember Fallen…|
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Resources for Epicurean Philosophy On The Internet
There are many find Epicurean websites on the internet, so be sure you are aware of the main ones. This newsletter is brought to you by http://www.NewEpicurean.com. Two other very active and important websites are SocietyofEpicurus.com and Menoeceus.blogspot.com
There is also an active website in Greece (mostly in the Greek language) at Epicuros.net. Please be sure to check the list at EpicurusCentral.wordpress.net for a full list, and let us know if other sites should be mentioned here.
Options for those who wish to discuss Epicurus on the internet include:1- If you are focused primarily on Epicurus, and you want to participate in a forum where people will defend Epicurus strongly from all challenges, then you have two Facebook options. Our open and main group, entitled simply “Epicurean Philosophy,” is the home base of this post. Anyone can read the posts there, and all you have to do is ask in order to join. (Note that there is an “About” and a “Sticky” post with our forum rules.)
2 – If you are someone whose views are fully formed, and you’ve combined several disparate viewpoints into your own personal mix, and you mainly want to talk casually to other people of the same eclectic type, there are several excellent facebook groups including EPISTOBUZEN and “Epicureanism for Modern Times.” 3 – If you prefer to post in a “private” group where your posts are not readable by outsiders, we have “Epicurean Private Garden.” Because it is a private group, you cannot find it by searching, and you have to email one of our admins in the open group if you wish to join. Please note that our About and Sticky Post rules in the private forum are the same as the open forum, and the private forum will be moderated to the same standards as the open forum (or perhaps slightly tighter!)
4 – If you are not only focused primarily on Epicurus, but you wish to assist with a forum platform where pro-Epicurean activists can build for the future, check out www.EpicureanFriends.com. Work is starting on a FAQ and other resources. Anyone can read the posts, but only approved members can create new posts or comment.
5 – If your interest is primarily on the scientific research side, such as implications of quantum mechanics and related theories, be sure to check out “Epicurean Touchpoints” at Facebook.