Stoic News

By Dave Kelly

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

"Let death and exile and everything that is terrible appear before your eyes every day, especially death; and you will never have anything contemptible in your thoughts or crave anything excessively" (Epictetus, Handbook 21, trans. Long).

Avi Solomon has informed me that Samuel Johnson explicated Epictetus' Handbook 21 very well in The Rambler No. 17. Tuesday, May 15, 1750:

"A frequent and attentive prospect of that moment, which must put a period to all our schemes, and deprive us of all our acquisitions, is indeed of the utmost efficacy to the just and rational regulation our lives; nor would ever any thing wicked, or often any thing absurd, be undertaken or prosecuted by him who should begin every day with a serious reflection that he is born to die."

The Rambler, sections 1-54 (1750)

Sunday, October 12, 2003

Happiness in the Fourth Epistle of Alexander Pope's An Essay on man

"What, then, may we say An Essay on man and its corresponding view of happiness really is? Is it not in many ways the Stoic world view in eighteenth century dress? I believe this to be the case, and the remainder of this present essay will be devoted to understanding in greater detail Pope's basic ideas about happiness in this particular context."

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

Stoic Faith . . . - Jan E. Garrett.

"Faith is what you have before you have a more complete understanding."

Keith Seddon: on pleasure and a commentary on Enchiridion 15

"It is most doubtful that Epictetus intends the example of attending a banquet to serve as a general metaphor for life. Such an occasion, consisting of lying down a great deal, eating, drinking, talking, watching and listening to the entertainments, does not sit well with Epictetus' other metaphors for life which include attending a festival, playing a game, acting a part in a drama, training for and competing in an athletic contest, and engaging in military service, all of which suggest undertakings that are active and purposeful, in contrast to attending a banquet, which is largely a passive affair...."

Monday, October 06, 2003

PTypes - A Stoic Theory of Pathology

I've pasted together text from E. Vernon Arnold's chapter "Sin and
Weaknesses" in Roman Stoicism, and some text from Cicero's
Tusculan Disputations, to serve as as outline account of "A Stoic
Theory of Pathology."

Saturday, October 04, 2003

Stoic artist: Paul Ryan

"One Thing Leads to Another

"The subject is "fate" or we also talk about Necessity, Determinism, Causation ...The question is how does one thing leads to another and whether we have any freedom to decide the next step to be "up to us", or of our own free will, but outside factors influence/determine what happens next. Obviously they also have the visual link of two sides (open book/domino face). Notions of "the game", apparent skill, hidden/shown are also examined.

"The images selected from the books are from three groupings, War, The Personal, and Numbers/Mathematics. The first two are to contrast the current climate of global military events and our personal lives, both of which we often feel we have little control over. The mathematical pages remind us that the rules of chance may be determining how all the pieces fall. " - Paul Ryan Exhibitions.

Faith is not necessarily opposed to reason

Pete says:
"Faith is the enemy of reason."

But Adam answers:
"Not necessarily, and definitely not always.

"I once took a philosophy course, in which the instructor
early on in the semester, through a series of episodes,
made it clear to the whole class that he was not only
a teacher, but also a stage magician. . . ."