Sunday at 11am (Pacific) on KALW 91.7 FM, San Francisco, and rebroadcast on many other stations nationwide, Full episode downloads via Apple Music and abbreviated episodes (Philosophy Talk Starters) via Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Stitcher, David Konstan, Professor of Classics, New York University. But I won't get ground up in this one. Then along comes a gadfly, Heraclitus of Ephesus, who declares that the only constant is change and reality is a river, ever flowing and ever changing. “Epicurus.” The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2009 edition). A vital part of the resilience toolbox is the notion of exploring the good life. Epicurus states that the pleasure is ‘The starting point and the goal of the happy life’, we learn about if it is actually good to seek each and every pleasure and also we read about the possibilities of leading a virtuous but unpleasant life. Under rigorous philosophic questioning, he is forced to admit he doesn't know what he means. But the Ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus was decidedly not an epicurean in that sense of the word. On the other hand, one might say that such people do not really live a good life because after Olympic success, many athletes are depressed and no longer have anything to live for. Epicurus also saw the absence of pain as a pleasure in itself. Re the chicken and egg. Hmmmph, said the camel. But John responds with one of Epicurus’ arguments—nonexistence after life can’t be any better or worse than nonexistence before life, so Ken would have to be committed to saying that the period before birth is bad. According to Epicurus an ethical person is someone who understands the attainment of good things and the course of the bad things; knows she/he, to some extent, controls the path of their life and has the tendency to evaluate situations carefully so as to avoid pain and choose lifelong pleasures, whether they arise by necessity or due to destiny to achieve happiness. Pleasure is often confused with pure hedonism, which is most certainly not what Epicurus was promoting. Symbols, paradigms, and the patterns of evolution and history -- what is anyone to make of them? Teaching Philosophy: The Answer to Automation? "truth", "beauty", etc. DESIREIt is important to distinguish, when discussing desire, between ?wants? I might even agree---to some point. Even some modern "process philosophers" seem to take the view that only the process is real but Heraclitus was more pragmatic, observing that, "In change is rest. Where Aristotle wants moral rectitude, Epicurus accepts that none of us, even the old and philosophical, are perfect. good life, a pleasureful life, extending it is not warranted by the ideal of liv ing well. Share with your friends. As a strict materialist, he did not believe that the human soul outlived the body. Epicurus was a Greek philosopher who lived From 341 BC to 270 BC. He also believed that the desire for immortality was unnatural and unnecessary, since it could never be satisfied. Fear of death? The Post-Modern Family Values: Open Blog Entry. He believed philosophy should be like therapy, steering us away from unnecessary desires and assuaging our fear of death. Commonly misunderstood as plain hedonism, Epicureanism offers adherents a good life in four steps. He is a fascinating and provocative philosopher. Knowing What We Know—And What We Don't Know, Feel like Democracy is Crumbling? To experience tranquility, Epicurus suggested that we could seek knowledge of how the world works and limit our desires. And, religion, along with its cousins, superstition and ignorance, are formidible older dogs.3. If we just rid ourselves of things like the desire for immortality and face death with equanimity,  he seemed to believe,  everything would be alright. Heraclitus aside, "the only thing constant IS change" (emphasis mine). I have. Epicurus did  acknowledge that desires for good food and fine wine were natural. (* the allusion is to Carlos Castaneda's A SEPARATE REALITY, from an earlier century...). Rather, it involved the absence of bodily pain and mental distress. Though his name is often misleadingly associated with indulgence in sensual pleasures, the Greek philosopher Epicurus developed a far-reaching system of thought that incorporated an empiricist theory of knowledge, a description of nature based on atomistic materialism, and views about the importance of friendship. But the state of being dead? How can we become happy by seeking pleasure?Cuts, voice, footage, script by Einzelgänger. As real as political ideologies, I guess. is not much more than an unfortunate result of humans having acquired language. Robed figures pass to and fro along the paths, stopping now and then to engage one another in pleasant conversation on science, philosophy, and art. Hasn't someone said that Shakespeare was a fraud, or never existed, or some other brou-ha-ha? I have had discussions and arguments with scientists, philosophers and my brother concerning symbology and symbolism. And I’ve just scratched the surface of his rich and complex system in this blog entry. The Swerve: How the world became Modern. Therefore he thought there was no afterlife, and so nothing to fear in death. David Konstan, Professor of Classics at New York University joins our hosts to shed more light on Epicurus’ interconnected theories of psychology and metaphysics. Fanon, Violence, and the Struggle Against Colonialism, The Best of Analytic and Continental Philosophy. For him, the pleasure was to be obtained through things such as: 1. Epicurus was a philosopher who was believed to be the one with all the answers to life. Aristotle would certainly say no. I read Hemmingway although I found his prose maudlin, in a grandiose sense. Thus the egg came first. Very good and in depth description of basic Epicurean philosophy. Epicureanism argued that pleasure was the chief good in life. Or, how can one express how one feels in the presence of the "largest Sitka Spruce tree in the world" which has been torn in half by a hurricane, to the tree? He encouraged the Ideal of Good Life, to live simple lives by seeking pleasure and avoiding pain. But this is leading back to the circularity of chicken and egg, isn't it?Tim, you are lucid and we sometimes think on similar tracks---help me out here? So, Arvo, you can see the true "tragedy of Western philosophy": as the Carpenter points out, no matter how sage the philosopher, no one will do what the philosopher says unless it serves one's "wants," (not one's "needs"). Epicurus also saw the absence of pain as a pleasure in itself. Random Thoughts on Religion and the State. Living a temperate life 6. This has been a major topic of debate over the centuries, starting with the ideas put forward by Aristotle and… The Good Life is a concept people strive to achieve in their lives. An analytical paleontologist, along the lines of Stephen J. Gould---sorry if that offends---I do not know you (or--maybe, I do?) Review of Iris Murdoch's The Nice and the Good, Philosophy Meets Literacy Through Positive Coaching, Disorders of the Mind - The Philosophy of Psychiatry, Obituary for Stanford Professor Emeritus David S. Nivison. Since pantheism has no official heresies, its weakness is that it provides no reason to hate and oppress, no defense against anything and little guidance. Alternatively, one could think of it as an intimate, comfy womb-like universe with the sun, moon and stars all equidistant from Earth. [LIVE VIDEO] Philosophy Conference on Trump. The philosophers were aghast. There are these separate realities*, and I cannot seem to fathom them. No? Shadows? Forgiveness - the discussion continued.... Freedom, Responsibility and Martian Anthropology, Reverence for the Given? As to the reality of shadows, I have to agree with Michael. Epicurus himself clearly states that it is important to acquire an understanding of the world through what he calls the ‘study of nature’ (physio- logia) because such knowledge is required for living a happy, and therefore pleasant, life.He stresses this towards the end of the Letter to Herodotus (789) and also at the opening of the Letter to Pythocles (85-8). With great pleasure John and Ken welcome David Konstan from NYU, author of A Life Worthy of the Gods: The Materialist Psychology of Epicurus. I just spent four days one-on-one with a Zen practitioner, doing nothing but talking, telling stories with a point, and observing his practice, day to day. Today, this hedonistic conception of the good life is arguably dominant in Western culture. We epicureans seek to enjoy the good things offered by life. So Did Plato, Do Philosophy For Its Own Sake, Not for a Job, To 'Get' a Piece of Art? "This statement is false," appears to be a real statement but its meaning is not: the statement is true if it is false and false if it is true. According to TMT, cultures are symbolic systems that act to provide life with meaning and value. His notion of repressed anxieties was remarkably Freudian. On the one hand, one might think that this is an example of a person living a good life who does not follow Epictetus' advice, meaning that Epictetus is wrong. This developed Epicureanism, a hedonistic philosophy that stressed science, serenity, and friendship as the keys to pleasure, happiness, and the good life. He encouraged the Ideal of Good Life, to live simple lives by seeking pleasure and avoiding pain. Epicurus was a philosopher who was believed to be the one with all the answers to life. He had a theory of natural selection, and of changes in the human social order, though not of the appearance of new species. Emphasis was placed on pleasures of the mind rather than on physical pleasures. He thought the good life could be achieved through satisfaction that both body and mind are at peace. I suppose the gulf between religion and philosophy is not so great as I once imagined. And then, consider the Epicurean desire to be ?free from pain,? "10 If that is supposed to happen. Epicurus does not think that it is an intellectual activity that someone participates in apart from … Socialism and communism are the economies of ?this is what you need? This week’s conversation is about Epicurus and the Good Life. No elitist he. Imagine if you will a lush garden full of fresh fruits and vegetables. From within this perspective, he comes to a significantly different conclusion about happiness. 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