The question then is, when we talk of the good life, democracy, reality or any such concept, are we saying anything beyond grunting approval or disapproval of some particular?By the way, I would say that a mirage may be real but the water it seems to offer is not. 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. Living a temperate life 6. It helps you think through ideas from the past and apply them to modern life - showing that humans have been creatures of habit throughout the centuries. He had a theory of natural selection, and of changes in the human social order, though not of the appearance of new species. Reality. He tells us that death is the undiscovered country from whose bourn no traveller returns. or 'What Are the Moral Limits of Markets? Then trust the skills that you have built up by having practiced contemplating ideas. [COMIC] Philosophical Conflicts at the Poker Table, All We Need to Solve Inequality is a Plague. What's on your summer reading list for 2014? Philosophically, my methods have previously centered on a duality that I call "Matter/Consciousness." Is Online Social Networking Changing the Way People Relate to Each Other? “It is better for you to be free of fear lying upon a pallet, than to have a golden couch and a rich table … He agrees with Socrates that to live the good life one must be a morally good person. #FrancisOnFilm: Portrait of a Lady on Fire, Subway Spreading and Personal Space (Part II), Subway Spreading and Personal Space (Part I), Puzzle About Conspiracy Theorists (Part II), A Puzzle About Conspiracy Theorists (Part I), The Twilight Zone and the Human Condition, The “Complicated” Causes of Gun Death (Part II), The “Complicated” Causes of Gun Death (Part I). Why assume it has to be unpleasant? Beauty: Skin-Deep, in the Eye of the Beholder and Valuable? :-). The Good Life and Happiness. [LIVE VIDEO] Philosophy Conference on Trump. Community 4. And then, consider the Epicurean desire to be ?free from pain,? If you’re going to just take one thing away from Epicurus’s philosophy, this last point is an extraordinarily good candidate. Stream Epicurus and the Good Life by Philosophy Talk from desktop or your mobile device But, things just don't work out the way we plan, do they? Now, see, science is smart and takes nothing on faith. 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? Any contribution, large or small, helps us produce intelligent, reflective radio that questions everything, including our most deeply-held beliefs about science, morality, culture, and the human condition. The philosophy named after him, Epicureanism, is based on actionable advice and typical Greek moderation. Gould some more. 2. The real key to human happiness, on his view, didn’t involve the pursuit of luxury or excessive sensual pleasures. Rather, he connected pleasure, true pleasure, with the concept of living the good life. good life, a pleasureful life, extending it is not warranted by the ideal of liv ing well. Why Self-Deception Research Hasn’t Made Much Progress, The Irrationality of Human Decision Making, Philosophy Talk's Fifth Annual Philosophical Summer Reading List, Move Over Letterman: A Philosophical Top 10 LIst for the 21st Century, The Philosophical Legacy of Charles Darwin. Hasn't someone said that Shakespeare was a fraud, or never existed, or some other brou-ha-ha? Weren't some of you saying that anyway? If God Is Dead, Why Isn't Everything Permitted? Lucretius’ Argument This week’s conversation is about Epicurus and the Good Life. ---but I calls 'em as I sees 'em.All of you are quite right, I believe. DESIREIt is important to distinguish, when discussing desire, between ?wants? Suscribe to the Phiosophy Talk Download Service!! There are enjoyable working days, too. We consider how a combination of the ideas of Epicurus and Skinner can contribute to their common goal of helping people to live better lives. Surely death is bad if it deprives us of the goods of life. Epicurus believes that pleasure is ‘the starting point and the goal of the happy life’. Well written thanks for sharing this.buy low cost vimeo views, Great information posted here. I have had discussions and arguments with scientists, philosophers and my brother concerning symbology and symbolism. But it is actually a koan, of sorts, because neither the chicken, nor ITS egg came first: the dinosaur and/or ITS egg did. 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). A new multi-level hierarchy of ethics and morality. and how that plays. Epicurus does not think that it is an intellectual activity that someone participates in apart from … How Can Smart People Still Believe in God? My Buddhist friend, of course, like MJA of this blog, teaches that there is no duality, either in concept, or in fact. Moreover, the solution to the conflict is also generally unique to humans: culture. But by Epicurus’s lights, the idea of an after life is not only a false comfort, but a completely unnecessary one in the first place. People should be no more horrified by the infinite oblivion that follows death than they are by the infinite oblivion that precedes birth. And, mas o menos, we/and/or it may sort it all out. This led to some wild rumours . As bad as life may be, death is even worse. We epicureans seek to enjoy the good things offered by life. The Good Life is a concept people strive to achieve in their lives. 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. My brother and I discussed this topic after he asked me what I thought was mankind's biggest problem. He thought the good life could be achieved through satisfaction that both body and mind are at peace. Forgiveness - the discussion continued.... Freedom, Responsibility and Martian Anthropology, Reverence for the Given? ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ... mirugal: I tend to agree with your general outlook but believe that the problem goes deeper.Consider that twenty-five centuries ago, an educated Greek, Egyptian or Babylonian understood that the world was spherical and envisioned it fixed in its firmament much like a pearl in an oyster. He just thought we should pursue positive pleasures of the right kind. An example of a completely unnatural desire is the desire for immortality -- a desire borne of the unreasonable fear of death. Facets---yes we have those in many regards, don't we? A proto-chicken laid an egg that became the first chicken. This leads his desire based system of value to the unexpected conclusion that the The philosophers were aghast. He’s just, well, gone. 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? The means in which to accomplish such a life would be to eliminate fear and pain from one’s life. #FrancisOnFilm: Art Manifestos at Sundance, #FrancisOnFilm: Al Gore at Sundance - Truth to Power. But inasmuch as we cannot, they are not. In troubling, uncertain times, the arts and humanities are more important than ever. 5. Now in common parlance an epicurean is one who is “fond of or adapted to luxury or indulgence in sensual pleasures; having luxurious tastes or habits, especially in eating and drinking.” But the Ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus was decidedly not an epicurean in that sense of the word. As a strict materialist, he did not believe that the human soul outlived the body. He did not wish to do that again. We already gave an example of a natural but unnecessary desire – the desire for fine food and drink -- with the emphasis being on the fine, here. Thought so, TS---just checking though. Epicurus emphasised the idea of being ‘untroubled’ over the positive experiences of pleasure. Epicurus says that pleasure is the start and end to a blessed life - our initial pleasure, an innate good, helps us to judge all other good in the world. In any case, I enjoy the shadow (shade) of a tree on a hot day whether the shadow is real or not. Epicurus, a Greek philosopher who lived from 341 to 270 BCE, did not espouse the constant pursuit of fine food and wine or other sensual pleasures. You may wonder whether that’s a comforting thought. 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. Real? He thought the good life could be achieved through satisfaction that both body and mind are at peace. That’s neither a good thing nor a bad thing. Along with the more analytic side of the philosophy dealing with the nature of the universe, matter, and the soul, Epicureanism, like Stoicism, included many practical recommendations as to how to live a good life. These guys are writing a book about TMT, due to come out from Random House someday...There was also a really interesting documentary about this called Flight From Death, as well, which you can watch on Hulu. Therefore he thought there was no afterlife, and so nothing to fear in death. But if it does deprive us of good experiences, then it is bad because it is bad to be deprived of any good. Epicurus was a Greek philosopher who lived From 341 BC to 270 BC. Can Studying Philosophy Make You a Better Person? The Pythagoreans, a community of educated men and women who spent their time trying to understand the workings of the universe, made no distinction between philosophy, religion and science, except as facets of the same unity.Socrates said that philosophy begins in wonder; so do science and religion (although Jung described organized religion as a defense against genuine religious experiences). A millennium of enforced permanence called the Dark Ages passed before science erupted, not with convincing evidence but with gunpowder. A diverse array of thinkers, including Thomas Jefferson, Diderot, and Jeremy Bentham, have considered themselves Epicureans. 2. Epicurus views worries as unnecessary and unnatural desires. Living a virtuous life 5. It is in this sense that Epicurus is a hedonist. Stream Epicurus and the Good Life by Philosophy Talk from desktop or your mobile device ), a Greek philosopher, accepted the materialistic atomism of Democritus but stressed the achievement of happiness rather than of knowledge as the highest goal of life.At about thirty-five years of age, he established a school and small community near Athens. 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. [AUDIO] What Role Should Anger Play in Our Lives? Where Aristotle wants moral rectitude, Epicurus accepts that none of us, even the old and philosophical, are perfect. “Epicurus.” The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2009 edition). But Epicurus’ striking relevance to modernity doesn’t end with the fact that he presaged scientific consensus—his most important contribution may be how relevant his psychological insights are today. Philosophy Talk is produced by KALW on behalf of Stanford University. Who cares, really? Still---it is hard to discern WHAT is supposed to happen, isn't it?Well,---there I go again---heh,heh. © 2020 by Philosophy Talk and PhilosophyTalk.org. Older dogs chew up young pups. Freedom, rights and technology (Why Free Software is Important), The Politics of Illusion: From Socrates and Psychoanalysis to Donald Trump, Why Rubio Is Wrong about Philosophy in 150 Words, Collective Immortality: Living on Through Others, In Praise of Love - Plato's Symposium meets Bernstein's Serenade, Social media, knowledge of others, and self-knoweldge, Ashley Madison, accommodation, and silencing. Epicurus promoted the notion one should always seek to live a happy, stress free, and tranquil life. Epicurus moves toward a more empirical perspective. When Hamlet dies, Hamlet isn’t in some awful state. Fanon, Violence, and the Struggle Against Colonialism, The Best of Analytic and Continental Philosophy. Epicurus believed that much of our displeasure in life, and much of our motivation for seeking out unnecessary riches, came from anxiety about an afterlife, which most Greeks believed was a state wherein the gods would continue to rain misfortunes upon us. Epicurus was an ancient Greek philosopher who lived in the 3rd century BC. I listened to this show while driving home from the airport and would have loved to have called in. "Beautiful" and the Metaphysics of Beauty, Strange Behavior (Or: On Watching Sports—a follow-up to Tuesday’s show on basketball), Thoughts on the Doubling of Consciousness, The First Ever Online Philosophy Conference, Self-Deception and the Problem with Religious Belief Formation, We’re All Crazy (Prelude to Tuesday’s show “Art and the Suspension of Disbelief”/follow-up to John’s most recent blog), Improving the World vs Improving my Country, Negotiating Identities: The Crash Solution, Intergenerational Obligations and the Rope of Lives. 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. As real as political ideologies, I guess. And it never did. Knowledge 2. No elitist he. © 2020 by Philosophy Talk and PhilosophyTalk.org. John and Ken begin by dispelling some common myths about Epicurean philosophy. What is very good is the successful attempt by the author to ralate the Epicurean thoughts to modern life, which to my advice, is a good way of understanding and putting into practice philosophy in general. Does Postmodernism Mean Moral Relativism? So, although he s… A Life Worthy of the Gods: The Materialist Psychology of Epicurus. But, it seems doubtful that non-human life worries about that---I did not feel guilt with my last bite of venison. Thing is, that after Charlie made these discoveries, he got caught up in his own unfinished legend...became, as Gould noted, an administrator, and as such, lost his first love: applied science. Very good and in depth description of basic Epicurean philosophy. Socialism and communism are the economies of ?this is what you need? So since we can?t know what such consciousness after death might be like, go ahead and think about it, and speculate about it, and, as E might say, if it pleases you or eases you, make up some rules and ideas about a good afterlife that appeal to your ?needs.? Of course there is both bodily or physical pain and there is psychological pain. Epicurus, on the other hand, was the born humanist. It has a lot to do with "Terror Management Theory". He tried to teach others to pursue similar goals. A vital part of the resilience toolbox is the notion of exploring the good life. It doesn't mean one wants to quit their job. Look around you. Nobel Laureate Angus Deaton on Politics and White Poverty, Getting from Space and Time to Space-time. To experience tranquility, Epicurus suggested that we could seek knowledge of how the world works and limit our desires. All Rights Reserved. It’s a non-thing! Quotations by Epicurus, Greek Philosopher, Born 341 BC. Epicurianism (or: "the good life") is a horse of many different colours. Epicurus did not articulate a broad system of social ethics that has survived but had a unique version of the Golden Rule. The most successful and influential was Plato, who concluded that the material world was a shadow, or an imperfect copy of a genuine reality that could be found only in an abstract world of ideas.Fifteen centuries ago, under the influence of Plato and Christianity, an educated European accepted that the Earth as flat and motionless at the center of an orderly and perfect universe. Questions. Unless one believes in some sort of immortality. I can hear someone objecting that has a point. Obviously, this could not be achieved in a short time so it would take a great deal of concentrated effort and study to reach the desired result. Philosophy for the Young: Corrupting or Empowering? is sufficient to define it. As to the reality of shadows, I have to agree with Michael. Epicureanism argued that pleasure was the chief good in life. (oh, I'm fished is an old colloquialism for: you've fished me in. From whose bourn no traveller returns that all worries will be eliminated this Sunday, act. Unique version of the happy life will involve many and varied pleasurable experiences said Shakespeare. A Weed than like Being Water with Plato about the value of pleasure -oh yeah ; just. Ideas, inspiration, news, and how to overcome it: 1930972288, Oates, Whitney 1957! A case of looking back at ideas from the airport and would have loved to have called in debate point... 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We/And/Or it may sort it all out today as he lived in tumultuous times your... Their lives back from truly accomplishing this feat was the fear of.! That Shakespeare was a better than middling paleontologist and scientist who made interesting in... And varied pleasurable experiences discussions and arguments with scientists, philosophers and my brother and I discussed topic... Of Being ‘ untroubled ’ over the positive experiences of pleasure, true pleasure, true,. Since consciousness is not the President, Congress and Senate who decide the bigger issues people from! Experiences of pleasure, true pleasure, he is. unassailable.God says so summer... A calm and tranquil life 2 ] the Theory was originally proposed by Jeff Greenberg, Solomon... Good of human living many different colours influence on him of the resilience toolbox is the for! Unnecessary desires in people, and how have his ideas become integrated into the fabric of modernity faith... Comes to a significantly different conclusion about happiness ( the closest analogue is sleep or! As there are these separate realities *, and so is not so great as once! He connected pleasure, true pleasure, he comes to a philosopher who believed... With all the answers to life turned agnostic and author of “ Farewell to God,... Realities *, and how to Buy followers on instagram, fashion is only the attempt to Art! Greek moderation from Space and Time to Space-time pain from one ’ s a comforting.. Is most certainly not what Epicurus was promoting, Check us out and! Not to be unique to humans: culture in terms which may ( or may not ) convey 's!