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Re: [existlist] Epicureanism

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  • Bill Harris
    I see Existentialism as the modern western philosophy. Indeed the early thinkers in this dicipline were very negative in their approach, they had a great deal
    Message 1 of 75 , Nov 2, 2001
      I see Existentialism as the modern western philosophy. Indeed the early
      thinkers in this dicipline were very negative in their approach, they had a
      great deal to break away from. In Europe the reformation had left little
      fervor for more conflict over religion and the idea of throwing not only
      religion but god away was a hard sell. The founders pounded away at the
      great evils, injustice, and voids in the old faith based systems. Europe
      went another way, it experimented with socialism, communism, fascism, and
      national socialism. Indeed the French attempt at democracy fared little
      better then the aforementioned experiments. Behind all of this turmoil, the
      existentialists extolled the virtues of individualism and philosophical self
      determination. Euorpeans, in desperation, began to listen. In the United
      States capitalistic democracy had a firm hold politically but materialistic
      values were starting to erode faith based systems. The "God is dead"
      headline shocked middle class america and much of the political debate since
      relates more to cultural warfare than to any struggle with political
      systems. I have always seen Existentialism united with capitalism,
      democracy, and materialism as being the philosophy,economy, politics, and
      life style of the western world. We have intermingled them to the point
      where we have lost sight of the existential individualism that acts as
      foundation to the other three. Attacks have been mounted by right wing
      christian fundamentalists and politically correct collectivists but I see
      these movements as moribund and passe. Existentialism is a philosophy, the
      most important and vital philosophy in the history of man. Eating grapes in
      your epicurian garden or mouthing politically correct jargon are no
      substitute. Bill----- Original Message -----
      From: "Eduard Alf" <yeoman@...>
      To: <existlist@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Thursday, November 01, 2001 8:32 PM
      Subject: RE: [existlist] Epicureanism


      > Actually I am beginning to not see existentialism as a "philosophy" as
      such.
      > That is, as something which helps to define an end result. It seems that
      > existentialists are also something else; Marxist, Christian, protestant,
      > Jewish, whatever. Existentialism [as I read it] is more of a process
      > towards something else. It suggests that life is a series of choices,
      > creating stress; and that once one makes a decision, then he or she must
      > follow through. But the ability to make choices leaves open a vast range
      of
      > things upon which these choices are made. So although Existentialism
      > provides a process, it still leaves me unsatisfied as to what I might
      > consider to be a "philosophy".
      >
      > The recent post on Hedonism brought back to mind, the subject of
      > Epicureanism which I had dabbled in a while back. Epicureanism has as its
      > objective the pleasure that can be derived from life. Like the Roman
      > Emperor Diocletian retiring to Dalmatia to grow cabbages in his garden.
      It
      > seems to dove-tail nicely with Exististentialism in that it provides
      > something towards which to make decisions. If the world is absurd [I
      don't
      > necessarily believe this] then perhaps the criteria for our choices is to
      > seek simplicity.
      >
      > Thomas Jefferson was an Epicurean .. for whatever that is worth.
      >
      > eduard
      >
      > -----Original Message-----
      > From: Ryan Dewald [mailto:rdewald@...]
      > Sent: Thursday, November 01, 2001 4:04 PM
      > To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
      > Subject: RE: [existlist] Epicureanism
      >
      >
      > Ed
      >
      > I look forward to learning more about it via you and the discussion.
      >
      > -Ryan
      >
      >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >
      >
      >
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    • Bill Harris
      Eduard, Should Garcin be concerned that history labels him as a coward---No. If the context of the play is to be accepted he is already dead and therefore has
      Message 75 of 75 , Nov 6, 2001
        Eduard, Should Garcin be concerned that history labels him as a coward---No.
        If the context of the play is to be accepted he is already dead and
        therefore has no consciousness or concern. If I were dead I would not be
        concerned and I, again have no idea if Sartre was trying to say something
        about afterlife or guilt therein. As to your comment about exist as a
        tool, I would say it is a tool that few have used and like a level may be
        necessary to complete a modern philosophy. {Mixing a few metaphores ] I
        think it gives us license to think as individuals. Today that is not seen as
        such a necessary relief from prohibition but we have all exercised the
        freedom and to my knowledge only bookdoc has been burned at the stake.
        Where is he anyway? Bill
        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "Eduard Alf" <yeoman@...>
        To: <existlist@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Monday, November 05, 2001 5:01 PM
        Subject: RE: [existlist] Epicureanism


        > I am not actually backing away from Existentialism. I think it is a good
        > tool, but it takes more than one tool to build a warm house. I am
        > surprised, however, that there doesn't seem to be very much in the way of
        > recent discussion on Epicureanism. There is a lot on Epicurean meals and
        > such, but that is not what the philosophy is about. Perhaps that is
        > something that I can contribute. Win me a Nobel prize or something.
        >
        > By the way. What did you folks think of Garcin's concern about history
        > labeling him as a coward, in the play "Huis clos". Should he be
        concerned?
        > Would you? I think that Sartre is trying to say something there.
        >
        > eduard
        > -----Original Message-----
        > From: Bill Harris [mailto:bhvwd@...]
        > Sent: Monday, November 05, 2001 12:04 PM
        > To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
        > Subject: Re: [existlist] Epicureanism
        >
        >
        > It all evolves, there is no end but there are dead ends. I have never
        > had
        > any particular liking for the term exist----. It is just a big word that
        > confuses us all. I think what I sense in your recent postings is a
        > backing
        > away from modern thought, I have had the same misgivings with what is
        > going
        > on in the world now. I find that I have a certain depression of
        > enthusiasm
        > for engagement in current events reminescent of the VietNam era. I
        think
        > the current situation will be attributed to those with retrograde
        > philosophies and we should do our best to further that process. I might
        > find myself more absorbed with science and art until such time as it is
        > safe
        > to reject the current jingoism. George told me , however, it will be a
        > long
        > war, Bill
        >
        >
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
        >
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