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  Topic: Early Philosophies, It's all Greek to me< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  
Richardthughes



Posts: 10756
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 22 2008,10:22   

I am not well learned in this so would welcome insights. The modern usages of "cynic" and "stoic" seem quite removed from the philosophical movements that created them, and a casual examination would make them appear virtuous to my eyes. Perhaps cynicism has become a bad thing against the backdrop of faith, a vehicle for creating the credulous?

Also how did "epicurean" become restricted to a gastronomical term.

Educated me. I'm eager - but I wont pay!

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"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
Mr_Christopher



Posts: 1238
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 22 2008,10:58   

Stoicism was a fantastic philosophy!  Sadly the term "stoic" now seems to mean without emotion.

Read Marcus Aurelius, Musonius Rufus and Epictetus.

For a modern interpetation read anything by Albert Ellis, PhD. who based his approach to modern psychology on key stoic ideas.  Specifically the notion that "we are disturbed not by events, but by the views which we take of them" which was advocated by Epictetus.  In fact some folks here might find it interesting that Ellis credits Epictetus, Karl Popper and Alfred Korzybski ("Science and Sanity") as his greatest influences.

Chris

edizt: cuz I can

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Uncommon Descent is a moral cesspool, a festering intellectual ghetto that intoxicates and degrades its inhabitants - Stephen Matheson

  
C.J.O'Brien



Posts: 395
Joined: Aug. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 22 2008,12:06   

The Cynics were rebels, man. They liked to shake up The Man with their crazy hair-dos and their wild ideas. Interestingly, some of Jesus's most perplexing teachings (attributed to him by early Jesus movements that were more on the order of a Greek school of philosophy than like the Christ cults of the later 1st Century) bear a striking resemblance to Cynic teachings. Many Cynic aphorisms have the flavor of Zen koans --their aim was to puzzle the listener to make him question societal mores and envision other ways of living than traditional modes. Hippies, basically. The modern connotation of the term came about because the Cynics were interested in puncturing complacency and sending up social taboos --their take on society was jaded and critical, though with intent to reform, which is missing from the modern meaning.

Epicurus was an atheist materialist. He rejected concepts of an afterlife or supernatural realms of the gods. His philosophical school therefore focussed on the question of how to live this life, in this world, without looking ahead to 'a better place' but also without fear of death. They valued worldly pleasures (hence the vernacular connotations of the name), but being good Hellenes, they also regarded moderation in all things as the highest virtue. So the caricature of the Epicurians as hedonists is not really accurate.

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The is the beauty of being me- anything that any man does I can understand.
--Joe G

  
J-Dog



Posts: 4402
Joined: Dec. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 22 2008,12:51   

Quote (Mr_Christopher @ Feb. 22 2008,10:58)
Stoicism was a fantastic philosophy!  Sadly the term "stoic" now seems to mean without emotion.

Read Marcus Aurelius, Musonius Rufus and Epictetus.

For a modern interpetation read anything by Albert Ellis, PhD. who based his approach to modern psychology on key stoic ideas.  Specifically the notion that "we are disturbed not by events, but by the views which we take of them" which was advocated by Epictetus.  In fact some folks here might find it interesting that Ellis credits Epictetus, Karl Popper and Alfred Korzybski ("Science and Sanity") as his greatest influences.

Chris

edizt: cuz I can

I personally am rather fond of Epictitties, who had a couple of BIG ideas, that I can really dive into, and I try to get my hands on all the Epictitties material I can, as often as I can.

It has been often discussed whether it is the firmness of Epictitties, or the size of the Epictitties that is of primary importance, and while some men hypothesize that "any Epictittie is better than NO Epictittie"*, I find that is best to be firm about the subject.

Sometimes it is best to approach the subject delicately, after perhaps long discourse, dinner and a little beer or whine, there are other times when the straight-up approach works best**, and knowing which is the best approach, at the right times my friends...

THIS is the Great Philosophical Truth that all men seek.

*Louis after 1 bottle of good vintage port, & 1  bottle of merlot.  

**Richard after 6 Smithwicks

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Come on Tough Guy, do the little dance of ID impotence you do so well. - Louis to Joe G 2/10

Gullibility is not a virtue - Quidam on Dembski's belief in the Bible Code Faith Healers & ID 7/08

UD is an Unnatural Douchemagnet. - richardthughes 7/11

  
BWE



Posts: 1898
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 22 2008,13:31   

I always thought the sophists got a short shrift too.
wiki

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Who said that ev'ry wish would be heard and answered
When wished on the morning star
Somebody thought of that, and someone believed it
Look what it's done so far

The Daily Wingnut

   
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4807
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 22 2008,14:14   

Quote (BWE @ Feb. 22 2008,13:31)
I always thought the sophists got a short shrift too.
wiki

That was a great line in "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance", something like, "They had never dealt with a live sophist, only dead ones."

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"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker

    
C.J.O'Brien



Posts: 395
Joined: Aug. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 22 2008,14:32   

Yes, the sophists were Plato's straw-man punching bag, so as far as the Western canon is concerned, they never really got to speak up in their own defense.

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The is the beauty of being me- anything that any man does I can understand.
--Joe G

  
Mr_Christopher



Posts: 1238
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 22 2008,15:31   

OT: Am I the only person in north american who thinks plato and his pocket pal Socrates were a couple of complete morons?

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Uncommon Descent is a moral cesspool, a festering intellectual ghetto that intoxicates and degrades its inhabitants - Stephen Matheson

  
Richardthughes



Posts: 10756
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 22 2008,15:48   

Quote (Mr_Christopher @ Feb. 22 2008,15:31)
OT: Am I the only person in north american who thinks plato and his pocket pal Socrates were a couple of complete morons?

Not morons, but...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Open_Society_and_Its_Enemies

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"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
Mr_Christopher



Posts: 1238
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 22 2008,16:09   

Quote (Richardthughes @ Feb. 22 2008,15:48)
Quote (Mr_Christopher @ Feb. 22 2008,15:31)
OT: Am I the only person in north american who thinks plato and his pocket pal Socrates were a couple of complete morons?

Not morons, but...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Open_Society_and_Its_Enemies

Fascinating that. Thanks for the linky.

I always thought if I could have had a conversation with Plato I would have made a rule that the moment he stopped making sense the conversation would end.  With that in mind I figured our chat would last maybe 90 seconds, perhaps less.

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Uncommon Descent is a moral cesspool, a festering intellectual ghetto that intoxicates and degrades its inhabitants - Stephen Matheson

  
BWE



Posts: 1898
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 22 2008,16:54   

Funny how these things go. Robert Persig wrote most of Zen and the Art as a rebuttal to  Plato and Aristotle.

--------------
Who said that ev'ry wish would be heard and answered
When wished on the morning star
Somebody thought of that, and someone believed it
Look what it's done so far

The Daily Wingnut

   
Hermagoras



Posts: 1260
Joined: June 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 22 2008,18:52   

As a rhetoric scholar, I'm a big fan of the Sophists.  The sophist Protagoras is credited as the father of relativism.  On the down side, the ID creationist crowd operates on Protagoras's principle that there are two (potentially legitimate) sides to every question: hence, "teach the controversy" even when there's not one.  

On Epicurianism: Not sure how it got relegated to gastronomy, but the great work in Epicurian philosophy is De Rerum Natura (On the Nature of Things) by Lucretius.  It's a philosophical poem in a kind of mock-epic format (it even uses the classic epic meter -- dactylic hexameter).  Lucretius's Epicurianism is an entirely materialistic philosophy, even evolutionary, where chance swerves of constantly falling atoms make the universe possible.

There are some prose translations of De Rerum Natura that are really boring.  But the translation by Anthony Esolen, in verse, is quite good.

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"I am not currently proving that objective morality is true. I did that a long time ago and you missed it." -- StephenB

http://paralepsis.blogspot.com/....pot.com

   
fusilier



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Joined: Feb. 2003

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 23 2008,15:01   

My philosophy books are somewheres near the middle of that pile over there, so I can't be sure, but IIRC Gorgias was the one sophist who  fought Socrates to a draw.

And maybe won on points.

fusilier
James 2:24

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fusilier
James 2:24

  
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