Up@dawn 2.0

Monday, September 12, 2016

Quiz Sep14/15

Cynics, Skeptics, Epicureans, & Stoics, HP 228-270 (Ch XXVI-XXVIII); PW 15
Also recommended: WATCH Epicurus (SoL); Epicurus on HappinessThe Stoics (SoL); LISTEN Epicureanism (IOT);Epicurus the greatest philosopher? (IOT); Seneca & facing death (HI)

NOTE: if you can't spare the time to read these longer assignments in their entirety, just be sure at least to read those passages relevant to the daily quiz.

1. Why was Diogenes called a "cynic"?

2. What did Diogenes mean when he said his aim in life was to "deface the coinage"?

3. What did Pyrrho's scepticism mean, in practice?

4. How did Timon express his scepticism with regard to honey?

5. What was Epicurus' attitude towards luxurious pleasures?

6. What was Epicurus' philosophy designed to secure? What did he consider the "wise man's goal"?

7. What did Seneca bequeath to his family?

8. Which Stoic was a slave? Which an emperor?
9. According to Gros, the only Greek sages who were authentic walkers were who? How did they differ from sedentary philosophers?

10. Why did the homeless Cynic call himself rich?

  • Do we live in a cynical age, either by Diogenes' definition (231) or in some other sense? Are you cynical?
  • Do you feel any sympathy for the Cynics' version of the simple life? 232
  • What do you think of Pyrrho's extreme sceptcism?  233
  • Do you consider it wise or foolish to try and refrain from holding specific beliefs or preferring one course of action to another?
  • Is death really "nothing to us," and nothing to fear? 
  • What do you think Epicurus would say about people nowadays who consider themselves "epicurean"?
  • What gives you your greatest peace of mind? What style of living, extravagant, modest, or simple, do you intend to pursue?
  • Which is more important to you, the absence of pain or the presence of pleasure? 
  •  What do you think of Epicurus' attitudes towards sex and friendship?
  • What would you do if you were ordered by a crazed dictator to kill yourself?
  • Do you agree with Epictetus about being "a citizen of the universe"? 263
  • According to Gros's definition, are you more sedentary or peripatetic? PW 130
  • How do you think Diogenes' idea of what it means to be a citizen of the world differs from that of other cosmopolitans like Epictetus? PW 138
  • Please post your DQs
Old posts on the Stoics, Skeptics & EpicureansDiogenes etc.:

6.-The Inheritors: Philosophy in the Hellenistic Age

1. How did the Hellenistic philosophers want to broaden their inheritance from Plato and Aristotle?

2. What was Antisthenes' critique of Plato's Forms?

3. What were Strato's two crucial decisions?

4. What was Aristotle's alternative to Big Picture thinking?


  • What do you think of Diogenes the Cynic? Was he an admirable iconoclast and gadfly in the Socratic mold, a disgusting anti-social reprobate, or something else? If he was the first deconstructionist, what was Socrates?
  • Would the Hellenistic philosophers have been at home on our social media? (80) Should more intellectuals reach out to a broader public, beyond the ivy walls and ivory tower? Or does that cheapen scholarship?
  • Is there "one crucial thing" (81) that represents the secret of happiness? What do you think of Aristippus's "formula" (82) and Epicurus's doctrines? Do you find the latter "chilly and comfortless" (83)? How about Seneca's suicidal fatalism?
  • Can science, and the philosophy of science, do justice to both the detailed diairein of empirical inquiry AND the Big Picture?

Also of note

Should we broaden our scope? Unfortunately, I don't think we'll have time to stroll through muchWorld Philosophy this summer, but maybe we can peek at a travelogue or two, or try some Buddhist walking meditation*, or... ?
A proposal to rename most philosophy departments to more accurately reflect their focus on European and American philosophy prompted a spirited debate between readers who favor a European focus and scholars and students of Chinese, Islamic and other thought traditions.
“We ask those who sincerely believe that it does make sense to organize our discipline entirely around European and American figures and texts to pursue this agenda with honesty and openness,” wrote Jay L. Garfield and Bryan W. Van Norden in an essay in The Stone series. “We therefore suggest that any department that regularly offers courses only on Western philosophy should rename itself ‘Department of European and American Philosophy.’”
One reader said the term “philosophy” itself necessarily indicates the Western tradition rooted in Greek thought... (continues)
*Walking meditation is most closely associated with Buddhism. In her wonderful history of walking, Wanderlust, Rebecca Solnit notes in a stream of tracks traipsing across the bottom of the pages that "in Japanese the word for 'walk' is the same word which is used to refer to Buddhist practice..." But she also notes an Eskimo custom of walking away from anger.

There: we've smuggled in a bit of eastern and world philosophy, amidst our western stroll. Let's keep looking for ways to do that.
Strolling @dawn - some of my recent dawn posts touching on our course themes. I won't always duplicate those here, but links to them will always appear in the scroll near the top of the page if you're interested.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

"I go for a walk through the forest near my house, just as Aristotle walked along the beach at Assos," writes Arthur Herman, recounting the bounteous profusion of nature's teeming, towering, bewildering, constantly changing flora and fauna at his feet. "This is nature, the real world buzzing and blooming around us."

Herman says Aristotle was already onto the core truth of evolution millennia before its time, noting nature's dynamic of identity-through-ceaseless change. It's a truth that eluded Mayberry's Goober, when he briefly adopted the appearance of a philosopher and wondered "if a man's hisself, how can he change?" We're all continuously becoming something, all the time, turning potentiality into actuality or into something short of it. We're all on a journey.

Our journey through the forest struck Plato's and Aristotle's heirs, the Hellenistic Cynics, Epicureans, Stoics, and Skeptics, as an opportunity to make themselves at home there and everywhere. Initially, writes Jennifer Michael Hecht, they "felt a desperate desire to get out of the seemingly endless, friendless woods." But thanks to the applied philosophical therapeutics of their "graceful-life philosophies" they learned to love the place. "Hang a sign that says HOME on a tree and you're done.

But, back to Plato. For him the journey was an attempted ascent from the cave. For Aristotle, whether we ever actually spill out into a metaphysically higher light or not, every increment of fresh observation in the forest, on the beach, under the open sky is an opportunity to shed a little more light. [Nice and timely poem today, Seamus Heaney's "The Skylight" - "...extravagant Sky entered and held surprise wide open..."]

And for Diogenes, to whom we turn tomorrow in chapter six, the journey is a search for honesty and freedom. That's a quarry that can be especially elusive. Better bring the dogs. Don't let the Emperor or your teacher or anyone block your light.

My good friend the new Gradual Student offers another nice metaphor, of life's journey as a rickety bus ride. They killed Socrates when he went back to the cave. Will the other riders be more forgiving, when the enlightened rider re-boards?

"I think we're all bozos on this bus," whether we've read the Republic or not.

And I think Ken Kesey was right, we're all a little cuckoo. "You're either on the bus or off it." We've got a ticket to ride, but I'm with Aristotle. I'd prefer to walk.
Monday, May 16, 2016

You don't realize how much stuff a college dorm can hold until you have to empty it. Took about four hours of schlepping between dorm room and two packed-to-the-gillls vehicles yesterday... a nice break in the monotony of the drive up and back.

And the happy result: family all home and reunited, until Older Daughter's next move in about three weeks, destination Hollywood via Chavez Ravine. (I'm looking forward to catching a glimpse of the great Vin Scully, she's looking forward to a glimpse of her professional future.)

Another happy weekend event: the neighbors down the street hosted a block party, with bourbon, beer, barbeque, and bluegrass I'd just been complaining about how we don't make enough of an effort, most of the time, to know the people in our neighborhood. As with so many inertial complaints, the solution was simple. Somebody just had to step up and issue the invitations. Thanks for your generosity and initiative, neighbors.

Today's lifelong learning philosophers thought happiness pretty easy to solve: the Stoics and Skeptics both say it involves a therapeutic recognition and acceptance of our limitations. We can only do and know so much. As the overworked sports cliche has it, they tell us we can be happy if we just learn to "stay within ourselves" and don't overreach.

The original Hellenistic Stoics and Skeptics were cousins of the Epicureans and Cynics. What they all had in common was a sense that humans could indeed take the initiative and create the conditions of their own well-being by living in accord with nature. They "hoped to move philosophy beyond the bounds of formal discussion" established in the groves of Plato's and Aristotle's academes, writes Arthur Herman in The Cave and the Light, and to impress everyday people with the value of reflective thinking that informs deliberate and ameliorative living. They "would have been at home on Facebook or Twitter as any contemporary blogger."

Diogenes the Cynic was a dog philosopher, finding canines more reliable than humans. Homeless, fearless, and deconstructive, he famously told Alexander to "stand out of my sunlight." He had no use for social status or convention, or for intellectual conundrums that fail to recognize a practical solution even when staring it in the face. [Diogenes @dawn]

Solvitur ambulando! He'd have been fun at a block party. Probably not so much help on moving day, though: we'd have had to step around the "School of Athens" lounger while he complained about the light.
Happy birthday, Studs Terkel! Studs was no cynic, but Diogenes would have loved him anyway. "Why are we born? We're born eventually to die, of course. But what happens between the time we're born and we die? We're born to live. One is a realist if one hopes."
Saturday, May 14, 2016

The Stoics and Skeptics are glass-half-empty people, a lack-centered disposition and temperament not to my taste. But they're also be calm and carry on people of perseverance andgrit. That deserves a lot of credit.

“Begin each day," advises Aurelius, "by telling yourself: Today I shall be meeting with interference, ingratitude, insolence, disloyalty, ill-will, and selfishness – all of them due to the offenders’ ignorance of what is good or evil.” I don't endorse that - we've all had many better days, better meetings - but I do admire the proactivity, the advance work, and the charity of the assumption that even the most obnoxious people are doing the best they know how to do.

“The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts.” True, and on the quality of the thoughts of others whose deeds flow from those thoughts. Stoics don't like to talk about that, and the vulnerable mutual dependency it implies, but it's true too. That's why we can't be content to work only on ourselves, and why I can't accept the Stoic proposition that only our respective interiors can be landscaped. We must ameliorate external conditions too, or die trying.

For Schopenhauer, external conditions and inner life alike are wholly controlled by the impersonal, implacable, voracious Will. We can't starve it to death but we can learn to feed it on our schedule, and feed it less.

“It is difficult to find happiness within oneself, but it is impossible to find it anywhere else.” Yes, but the best skeptics know it's imperative to seek it together and in public, and to share our finds. That's why they write books, live with dogs (Schopenhauer's were all called "Atman"), and stay on Earth as long as they can. We must imagine them (the best of them) happy. Glass half empty? I'll have another.  
Epictetus, Cicero, Seneca (LH); WATCH: The Stoics (SoL); LISTEN:Seneca & facing death (HI)... Podcast

1. Which Stoic started out as a slave, and inspired a future American fighter pilot?

2. Which Stoic, a lawyer, politician, and noted orator as well as a philosopher, said experience, friendship, and conversation offset some of the problems associated with growing old?

3. Which Stoic said our problem is not how short life is, but how badly most of us use the time we do have (and then ironically had his own life shortened at Nero's command)?

4. Like the ancient skeptics, Stoics aim for what?

5. One benefit of living well is that you don't have to fear what (besides death) when you're old?

6. One potential problem with Stoic indifference to events beyond our control is that we risk becoming what?
*BONUS questions:

*Plato's Euthyphro Dilemma implies that either God is not the source of morality, OR morality is arbitrary...
*For Immanuel Kant, a deontologist in ethics, a moral action is one performed from a sense of ________. (duty, fear, selfishness, inclination, sympathy, compassion) P 42

*This 19th century English Utilitarian said we should seek the greatest happiness for the greatest number. And, you can still go and see him in London:

*The late 20th century Harvard philosopher Robert Nozick came up with a virtual reality thought experiment he called the _______ Machine.


1. Do you think you could effectively adopt a Stoic mindset ("Our thoughts are up to us," we shouldn't be affected by circumstances beyond our control, etc.) that would enable you to endure captivity and torture? IDo you attempt to adopt that mindset in less extreme everyday circumstances (like a rainstorm just before class)?

2. Do you "hope [you] die before you get old" or do you look forward to the compensations of old age (memories, old friends, grandchildren etc.)? Do you think 100 become the new 65, in your lifetime? How long do you hope to live? If cryonics ever becomes plausible would you want to use it?

3. Are you a good time-manager, or a procrastinator? Do you usually approach life as if you had "all the time in the world"? If Nero ordered YOU to take your own life, would you resist or comply? Why?

4. Are you a calm, tranquil, laid-back person? Do you try to be? How do you (try to) achieve that state of mind?

5. Do you know any old people with lots of happy, pleasant, instructive memories? Would you say they've lived well, or "flourished" over their lifetimes?

6. Is there a way to be a compassionate, caring person AND avoid excessive worry about tragic, troubling events?
Contrary to Dostoevsky...


See also:
Why aren't the godless all "rushing out and murder... Epicurus & Epictetus...
An old post:
Tuesday, February 10, 2015
Stoics & ethics

It’s a terse and breezy reading assignment in Little History today in CoPhi, on the StoicsEpictetus, Cicero, and Seneca. We're also looking at the first half of our chapter on Right & Wrong, concerned mainly with deontologists and utilitarians. (They're bumping last year's complementary discussion of Stoics & Pragmatists.)

’Being philosophical’ simply means accepting what you can’t change, for instance the inevitable process of growing older and the shortness of life.

‘Stoic’ came from the Stoa, which was a painted porch.

Like the Sceptics, Stoics aimed for a calm state of mind. Even when facing tragic events, such as the death of a loved one, the Stoic should remain unmoved. Our attitude to what happens is within our control even though what happens often isn’t. [The Philosophy of Calm, Ph'er Mail]

Stoics think we are responsible for what we feel and think. We can choose our response to good and bad luck… They believe emotions cloud reasoning and damage judgment.

Epictetus [don't confuse him with his predecessor Epicurus] started out as a slave. When he declared that the mind can remain free even when the body is enslaved he was drawing on his own experience. [Tom Wolfe's Epictetus, nyt]

The brevity of life and the inevitability of aging were topics that particularly interested Cicero and Seneca.

Cicero said old people can spend more time on friendship and conversation. He believed the soul lived forever, so old people shouldn’t worry about dying. [Epicurus already told us they needn't worry in any event.]

For Seneca the problem is not how short our lives are, but rather how badly most of us use what time we have.

“The greatest obstacle to living is expectancy, which hangs upon tomorrow and loses today… The whole future lies in uncertainty: live immediately.” Maria Popova, Brainpickings

The Stoic ideal was to live like a recluse… studying philosophy and get[ting] rid of those troublesome emotions.

["Seneca falls"... "dead stoics society"..."philosopher walks"..."premeditation"..."per aspera"..."self-sufficient"... Seneca on anger (de Botton)... (The Shortness of Life: Seneca on the Art of Living Well Rather Than Living Long - Brainpickings) The Shortness of Life: Seneca on Busyness and The Art of Living Wide Rather Than Living Long]

The New Yorker (@NewYorker)

2/1/15, 4:05 PM
Seneca’s plays were gore-fests. His wealth was vast. He counselled tyrants. And he called himself a Stoic?nyr.kr/1EPqUOh

Book of Life (@bkoflife)

2/18/15, 7:31 AM
Philosophical meditation, a guide thebookoflife.org/philosophical-…

But Nigel Warburton‘s question is right on target: at what price? If you’re even half human, like Mr. Spock, you’ll only damage yourself by suppressing your affective side. Calm may not be the greatest good, after all. On the other hand, Stoicism is widely misunderstood - even by Vulcans.http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/02/02/how-to-be-a-stoic/ … @mpigliucci

Anyway, Roman philosophy is under-rated. The Romans have done a lot for us.

And not all emperors were so bad as Nero. Marcus Aurelius was actually quite sane, and humane.

Stoicism, with its general mindset of not allowing oneself to be moved or harmed by externals beyond one's control, and the crucial assumption that our own thoughts are ours to manage, always courts the cold of Vulcan indifference but also offers the last line of defense for prisoners of war and victims of malice. If you really can persuade yourself that physical pain is nothing to you, that emotional stress can't touch you, that's quite a defensive weapon.

And if Stoicism can turn the chill of age into the warmth of experience, friendship, and joyous memory, that's quite an achievement. The older I get, the more I appreciate old Seneca's wisdom about time (not that it's in such short supply but that we're such bad managers of it). But I continue to question his passive compliance with crazy Nero. Is that Stoicism or impotent resignation? Surely there's a difference.

The Euthyphro Dilemma is on our plate today. "Is the pious or holy [or, ethically speaking, the right or the good] beloved by the gods because it is holy [right. good], or holy (etc.) because it is beloved?" Euthyphro didn't grasp the issue. Do we? Either God's not the source of good, or good's good only nominally and arbitrarily. Nigel implies there's something destructive or Hobson-ish about this choice, but isn't it just blindingly clear that pole A is the one to grab? Well no, it won't be to many students. A good discussion is called for.

"Deontology," a scary word for a scary over-devotion to "duty." Or so I'll say, today.

And, time permitting, I'll put in some good words for both Jeremy Bentham and J.S. Mill's respective versions of consequentialist utilitarian hedonism. Let's not choose, let's pick cherries.

Finally, the bonus topic: Robert Nozick's Experience Machine. Fire it up, we'll see if anybody really wants to step inside.

I'm "flipping" my classes these days, which practically means less of my "content" explicated during the precious minutes of classtime (though it's still right here for the taking, as always) and more group discussion. I like my DQs today, especially Do you think the only thing preventing you from being good is the fear of divine retribution for being bad? Or do you think that to be good one must simply believe in goodness and reciprocity ("Do unto others" etc.)?

In other words, Julia Sweeney, Why aren't the godless all "rushing out and murdering people"?

And, Is it better to be a sad but wise Socrates than to be a happy but ignorant fool?

Don't worry, be happy is not too far off the path of wisdom, is it?


  1. (H3)
    Do we live in a cynical age? I would say we more accurately live in an age of Cynics, as their are plenty of people who are cynical in the modern sense, or cynical in the Diogenes sense. Overall though I would say we live more in an age of tempered optimism.

  2. (H3) The cynics version of a simple life? I believe it has it good qualities, such as its minimal focus on material goods, which I believe we all fall into the trap of over obsession with (myself included.) However, I believe it goes to far as human beings should not live in such complete disconnection form the world.

    1. Cynics in that time definely had good qualities in that they were living without material goods successfully, but they did portray themselves as indecent and rough which could have been different and improved

  3. (H3)
    Do I think it is wise to try and never take sides? Yes, not only is highly unproductive but is potentially negative in impact, but also self deception as I believe it is impossible to be neutral on all thing.

    1. No, I believe that in order to be an individual with some morals and standards, we have to take sides on many issues. Now some issues are best left alone, which is where neutrality comes into play, but taking sides is in many cases a good thing.

  4. (H3)
    If a mad dictator ordered me to kill myself? Assuming there is nothing else at state I would probably say no, if for no other reason than to make a point.

  5. (H3) If the crazy dictator told me to kill myself I would of course say no. It sounds upsurd to even ponder the question, hince "crazy" dictator. Why would anyone allow someone to dictate their life in such a final way? If someone chooses to end their life it most certainly has to be on their terms, there's no going back. I would leave and go spend the rest of my, hopefully, long life proving the dictator wrong by doing something great and honorable with my life.

  6. (H3) Can anyone think of a person or group of people, from this time period, that embody the spirit of the Cynic? A combination of nomadism, no filter, loud, and not materialistic.

    1. I've met individuals who embody some of the characteristics you have named, but never someone who is all at once, although I'm sure such people exist somewhere.

    2. I have not actually met anyone you completely embodies the way of the cynic as it was in Greek times. Possibly it has died out, possibly there are just very few now.

  7. (H3) I do not consider myself as a cynic because while I strive to be self-sufficient I am not trying to just have things benefit myself.

    1. H1
      That makes sense to me! There's a big difference between being independent, and being independent and running around peeing on people, like Diogenes.

  8. (H3) I do not feel sympathy for the Cynics if that is the life the individual personally chose.

    1. I agree, the cynics have chosen that way of life so they deserve no sympathy. They may even ve considered lucky by many because of their connection to the natural world.

  9. (H3) I would consider it more foolish to not have specific beliefs or a certain course of action because then life, values, your choices, etc. become harder to make.

  10. (H3) I think Epicurus would think people today have taken his lifestyle to too much of an extreme.

  11. (H3) My relationship with God gives me the most peace. Living a lifestyle that relies upon making choices that I think would benefit my relationship with God and putting faith in Him is the lifestyle I have chosen.

  12. (H3) I prefer a life with a presence of pleasure over a life with the absence of pain.

  13. (H3) According to Gros's definition, I think I'm more sedentary than peripatetic. Though I do like walking and conversing, I find it a lot more relaxing to just sit and talk. I think you become more comfortable/ settled and open when seated. I believe a downfall of peripatetic walking is the conversation is fixed, in a way, to the pace at which you walk. When seated, there are more moments for silence and contemplation. There are definitely benefits to both, so perhaps a combination of the two is the right course.

  14. (H3) I think my greatest peace of mind occurs when I'm doing something I care about, either alone or with people I care about. Monetary value doesn't hold much value for me. I am happier, more at peace, hiking a trail or reading a book or watching a movie/show than I am spending gobs of money on fleeting moments. I'm not saying money isn't important, but I'm learning that buying a bunch of stuff doesn't make you happy, it just makes you an owner of a bunch of stuff. My goal in life is to have enough money/means to do whatever I want. To be able travel, relax, experience different cultures without worrying about a roof over my head or food on my plate. To satisfy all the bare necessities so I can enjoy life.

  15. (H3) I believe that sex isn't a negative thing, in the context of marriage I believe it is one of the most beautiful things God created. The view on friendship is one I would advocate because friends are one of the most valuable relationships in life.

  16. This comment has been removed by the author.

  17. (H3) Do you think Seneca's dying wish was saintly, because he valued a virtuous life above all else, or do you think he was arrogant, because he thought his life was such a good example of an extremely lofty goal?

    1. Saintly, because he carried a noble belief to the end. Much like Socrates, he accepted death with a level of dignity. In fact, since we read of his life to this very day, perhaps he left us his inheritance as well.

  18. (H3) I would refuse to kill myself. I won't just give my life up.

  19. (H3) By Gros' definition I would be more sedentary but I strive to be more peripatetic.

    1. Personally, I can be sedentary and peripatetic depending on the mood i am currently in.

  20. (H3) I was not a big fan of Diogenes, quite frankly he seemed to be slightly not all there in my opinion.

  21. Do we live in a cynical age, but not so by like Diogenes. The people we refer to as cynics are those who reject modern versions of invention, but not the concept of the invention themselves. No one rejects government like anarchists, but maybe the extreme capitalism that exists in our culture.

  22. The presence of pleasure is more important. You cannot have pleasure without pain, therefore we cannot exist without pain, and pleasure in life makes life more tolerable.

  23. I feel like the presence of pleasure is more important to me than the absence of pain. I feel like pain makes us who we are. Without pain, we can't truly grow and learn. If everything in life was painless we wouldn't be able to appreciate the presence of pleasure.

  24. If I was ordered to take my own life I would politely refuse. Let my blood be on their hands, that's revenge enough.

  25. Most of you who answer the question about killing yourself answer no (as did I), but what if we add one detail to the question? What if your choice is to kill yourself relatively painlessly, or suffer a slow and excruciating death at the hands of others?

    1. Personally, I would choose to kill myself over giving them the satisfaction that they ended my life. I would die on my own terms, not someone elses.

    2. If those were the circumstances, then taking my own life seems to be the best choice. I agree with you Sean, Why give someone else the satisfaction and the power to decide how my life would end? If push comes to shove, I want to maintain what little control I have left.

  26. What form of living do I plan to pursue? Modest. I won't be militant about denying myself all pleasures, but I must always remember that luxuries supply, above all else, more to worry about.

  27. Is death really "nothing to us," and nothing to fear? If one does not believe in an afterlife, than I think it shouldn't be; death should only make one sad because it means no more pleasures of life. If one does believe in an afterlife, well, the answer is obviously a very individual one.

    1. Christian Brooks (H3)12:27 PM CDT

      The fear of death is just part of being alive, but some outliers have shifted to a respect for death, and welcoming for death, and so on. A fun fact: studies found that most people rank public speaking higher on their fear list than death, meaning some individuals, with a loose interpretation, would rather die than talk to a crowd.

  28. (H3) I hope to live a long life and die old. I look forward to all the different stages in my life, especially old age. One gets to relax, spend time with loved ones, and express opinions with abandon. I don't think that I'd want to use cryogenics though. Whenever it is my time to go naturally, I'll accept that.

  29. The presence of pleasure is more important than the absence of pain. The absence of pain just sounds like dull numbness. I would rather be in despair than absolutely numb to the world. So therefore, pleasure is much more preferable than the absence of pain. (H3)

  30. (H3) I am generally a procrastinator. I wait until the last inconvenient minute to do important things. I like to live life keeping in mind what is important at the current moment (school, work, etc) but still enjoying the most long-term important things in life (love, grace, etc).

    1. Christian Brooks (H3)12:23 PM CDT

      I do the same thing on every assignment I have. I've found the exhilaration of speeding to get things done in tie helps me work faster and more efficiently.

  31. (H1) I think it is foolish to try to refrain from holding specific beliefs. Our beliefs makes us who we are and dictate what we do. Now with that said, I also think it is foolish to hold on so strongly to your own beliefs that you refuse to listen to other viewpoints. Perspective is a good thing to have. You can understand another persons way of thinking without compromising your own beliefs.

  32. H1
    On our walk we discussed whether people are born with essences, the formation of society, and the golden mean.

  33. H1
    From the discussion of cynics in our reading assignments, I think they're horrid. They claim to be independent and individual, scorning civilization and conventional society, but they depend on it as well; Diogenes lived by begging. Their "independence" and scorn is really ingratitude and supercilious conceit.

  34. H1
    DQ:• Which is more important to you, the absence of pain or the presence of pleasure?
    I think sometimes the absence of pain and the presence of pleasure can be the same thing. I missed my fiancee while he was in New York for six weeks this summer, which is a form of pain. When I got to see him again, I felt pleasure. The pain of missing him was gone, but I didn't think about that; I was only feeling pleasure to be in his company again.

    How concrete is Epicurus's distinction between pleasure and absence of pain? How can the difference be made clear?

  35. I am a procrastinator by nature, but I have trained myself to become a decent time-manager over these last couple of months. I think it’s hard for me to stay on the time-management schedule because I feel like I’ll have time later to do it, so in a way I feel like I do have all the time in the world.

  36. I try to be calm and laid-back, but it’s hard for me to stay chill for long periods of time. This may sound silly, but I stay calm best when I meditate on scripture and make time for God.

  37. I think that you can be compassionate and caring without excessive worrying. Being a Christian I would say once you allow yourself to completely accept the fact that your life is in God’s hands then the worrying will no longer be a struggle.

  38. I don’t feel any sympathy for the Cynics’ version of the simple life because it is their free will and choice. If they were forced into it or brainwashed into it, etc. then I would feel sympathy for them, but other than that no I don’t feel sympathy for them.

  39. If a crazed dictator ordered me to take my own life I would definitely resist, that goes against my beliefs so he would have to kill me himself if he wanted me dead.

  40. I think I agree with Epictetus about being “a citizen of the universe”. He has a good point, if we are kinsmen of God there’s no need to be afraid.

  41. H01
    My group discussed on our walk how our essence is developed.

  42. (H1)
    Is death really "nothing to us," and nothing to fear?

    - When one accepts death for what it is, as I view it, an unanswerable mystery, one begins to lose fear of dying. The acceptance of death is the start to living life, as it is. Worrying about an afterlife only clouds the life you are living. If this is the only life we know of, thus far, then why not actually live it up. "Yolo"

  43. Do we live in a cynical age, either by Diogenes' definition or in some other sense? Are you cynical? I believe we do to an extent. Cynicism is an inclination to believe that people are motivated purely by self-interest and that is very much of the world today, but after tragedy we see a different idea. We see man-kind coming together. could it be ingrained in our DNA that we are the same and that we need to help our kind. Culturally we are told that we should our interests above every one else and this could be a problem with our society. We are told to fuck the police and on top of that everyone else.

  44. H02

    DQ: Do we live in a cynical age, either by Diogenes' definition, or in some other sense? Are you cynical?
    Answer: In my own definition, we live in an age where we love to complain, but will rarely step up and change things ourselves. I am very cynical towards many parts of life- government, human nature, almost anything.

    DQ: Do you feel any sympathy for the Cynics' version of the simple life?
    Answer: I think they were mis-informed, or mis-guided, and I sympathize with that, but not for their lives- they also allowed themselves to be led astray.

    DQ: What do you think of Pyrrho's extreme sceptcism?
    Answer: I believe that while it seemed to give his life purpose in his eyes, it is no way to live. It's dangerous not only for the practicer, but also the people around him/her, and the people that love him/her. The fact that his friends had to protect him in public should have been a wake-up call that he's putting other peoples lives in danger.

    DQ: Do you consider it wise or foolish to try and refrain from holding specific beliefs or preferring one course of action to another?
    Answer: I see it as neither wise or foolish. As long as no one is put in danger, the best beliefs are the passionate ones that give meaning to life.

    DQ: Is death really "nothing to us," and nothing to fear?
    Answer: No, in fact, it's the exact opposite. While the actual act of death may be nothing to fear, our society today fears the thought of death, near or far.

    DQ: What do you think Epicurus would say about people nowadays who consider themselves "epicurean"?
    Answer: He would not be happy, but I would hope he would keep in mind that definitions change over time, and there's almost no way to prevent that.

    DQ: What gives you your greatest peace of mind? What style of living, extravagant, modest, or simple, do you intend to pursue?
    Answer: My view of an extravagant life is not the same as the common public. Example, my perfect life is living and working on a farm with many horses, dogs, and other animals- this is extravagant to me, but isn't to most people.

    DQ: Which is more important to you, the absence of pain or the presence of pleasure?
    Answer: Personally, I'm a bit aglophobic, but I don't want to live life without pain or pleasure. I would rather live in a state of both than neither.

    DQ: What do you think of Epicurus' attitudes towards sex and friendship?
    Answer: He sees friendship and sex as unnecessary. While it may not be necessary for basic survival, i believe it to be important in a healthy life.

    DQ: What would you do if you were ordered by a crazed dictator to kill yourself?
    Answer: I would like to think that I would retaliate, but i fear that I would actually cower and do whatever I had to survive.

    DQ: Do you agree with Epictetus about being "a citizen of the universe"?
    Answer: I see it as being a contributing member of society- not necessarily about comprehension. I see most living things as "citizens of the universe", but they don't have the same comprehension.

    DQ: According to Gros's definition, are you more sedentary or peripatetic?
    Answer: Gro would say I am sedentary. However, I see myself as peripatetic in the sense that my mind never stops moving.