1. In the Hellenistic period Western philosophy came to be seen as what? What did the Hellenistic philosophies all praise, and what did they all see as the key to wisdom?
2. Of what later philosophy was Epicureanism the main ancestor?
3. What central problem of philosophy was Epicurus apparently the first to state?
4. From what did the Stoics take their name?
5. What was the one thing the Stoics thought the Epicureans were right about?
6. How does Gottlieb say the Stoics were inconsistent?
- What do you think of when you hear the word "therapy"? Do you think philosophers can be good therapists?
- Do you think "the greatest happiness of the greatest number" is an appropriate goal in life? Can it be effectively pursued by those who shun "any direct involvement in public life"?
- If the motion of atoms explains everything, can we be free?
- Is it true that your private thoughts can never be enslaved?
- Do you agree with the Stoic critique of Plato's Forms? (321)
- How do you distinguish things that are and are not subject to your control?
2. How did Pyrrho say you could become free from all worry? Does Warburton think this would work for most of us?
3. How does modern skepticism differ from its ancient predecessor?
4. Why does Gottlieb think Pyrrho must not have been as radically skeptical as legend has it?
5. What did David Hume say about too much skepticism?
6. What did "throwing in the sponge" mean, in Sextus Emiricus's story?
- Is it possible to go through life questioning and doubting everything, committing always to nothing, and holding no firm opinions? Is it desirable or useful to try doing so?
- Whose view on the reliability of the senses do you find more persuasive, Pyrrho's or Epicurus's (see DR 309-10)
- In what ways are you skeptical? In what ways are you not?
- Comment: "Even determinists and fatalists look both ways before crossing the street."
- What do you think of "the Empiricist approach to medicine"? (350) Does anyone still practice it?
Henry David Thoreau’s classic “Walden” is the inspiration for what Smithsonian Magazine is calling the world’s most improbable video game: “Walden, a Game.”
Instead of offering the thrills of stealing, violence and copious cussing, the new video game, based on Thoreau’s 19th-century retreat in Massachusetts, will urge players to collect arrowheads, cast their fishing pole into a soothing pond, buy penny candies and perhaps even jot notes in a journal — all while listening to the author’s meditations on nature... (continues)