The Chief Good

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The Chief Good

The Chief Good

  Introduction In this article we will explore the epicurean notions of wellbeing my primary source is book one of Cicero’s De Finibus in which Lucius Torquatus delivers a broad outline of epicurean ethics. (Lucius Manlius Torquatus was an ancient Roman statesman and military general during the later Roman Republic. Torquatus was an epicurean as revealed in Cicero’s De Finibus written in 45BC which accounted philosophical discourses of Cicero’s younger days. He was friends with Marcus Junius Brutus and the esteemed Roman polymath Marcus Tullius Cicero.)   The epicurean pleasure ‘The chief good, the chief good!’ This phrase was all the

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La Mettrie’s Last Stand

La Mettrie’s Last Stand

  After the controversial fallout of Anti-Seneca, our philosopher physician gives his final caper in his writing of the Preliminary Discourse which was included in his Philosophical Works published in 1750. Since this was the last of his works, for he died a year later, it can be considered to be his most mature espousal of his materialist philosophy and defence of it. Ann Thomson the editor of Machine Man and Other Writings published by Cambridge University Press summarises this work: “His main aim in the Preliminary Discourse is thus both to reaffirm his materialism and to show that his

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Carbon Copies, Reincarnation in Materialist Form – Part 1

Carbon Copies, Reincarnation in Materialist Form – Part 1

Did you know that due to the nature of matter that given enough time, material and space there will at some or other have to be an identical copy of you? The bigger the universe gets the more likely there is to be a copy of you out there somewhere and that’s because in the approximate 1 cubic meter of space that you inhabit there’s only so many finite combinations of matter that can occur, hence the idea that if it was physically possible to traverse the universe, it’s highly likely that you could not only meet your doppelganger, but

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La Mettrie’s Anti-Seneca

La Mettrie’s Anti-Seneca

    Intro The philosopher physician returns and this time he brings his own ethics on happiness. However, his ethics sharply contrasts with that of the stoics putting forward hedonism over virtue (but not over the pleasure derived from collecting new knowledge it must be said). First published in 1748, while shacking up at Fredrick’s court, Anti-Seneca had gone through many revisions, rewritten many times by La Mettrie for the purpose of perfecting his morality drawn from his own interpretation of materialism. As is typical with our darling philosopher physician, contention, controversy and condemnation trails not far behind him with

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On The Nature Of Things

On The Nature Of Things

    Introduction The star of this article is Lucretius, a Roman poet living within 1st BCE Republican Rome. What makes this poet extraordinary and quite unique is that he wrote an epic length poem not of romance, heroism, adventure or any of that sentimental claptrap but wrote a philosophical poem on that of nature. You see, Lucretius was both a poet and a philosopher who synthesised the two into his magnum opus, The Nature of Things (De Rerum Natura, in Latin) a work dedicated to Epicurean philosophy. Typical of all works of naturalistic philosophy you will begin to notice

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Pessimism of Birth by Lucretius

Pessimism of Birth by Lucretius

    A Human Baby’s like a sailor washed up on a beach    By the battering of the surf, naked, lacking the power of  speech, Possessing no mean of survival, when first Nature pours Him forth with birth-pangs from his mother’s womb upon Light’s shores. He fills the room up with his sorrowful squalls, and rightly so! – Just think what lies in store for him, Life’s full supply of woe.  

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La Mettrie’s Machine Man

La Mettrie’s Machine Man

Just to clarify, We begin with Descartes’ dualistic Cartesian animal-machine idea (which was popular at the time) which viewed all animals, except humanity, as automatons, as complex machines without an immortal soul. The mind/soul of man was separate from his material body it was argued, man was thought to be a special snowflake whose essence transcended the mere sum of his parts. This idea bode well with the theological narrative and wasn’t repressed by censorship. La Mettrie admired this idea of Descartes, but disagreed with its formula being that only animals were without souls, he thought Descartes mistaken as he says:

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What is the meaning of Life?

What is the meaning of Life?

Philosophers, scientists and thinkers have for thousands of years pondered the big questions of existence, the biggest one of all being ‘what is the point of life?’ More correctly, it’s often expressed as ‘does life have any purpose?’  ‘Is there any meaning to life?,’ and more commonly ‘why are we here?’ All of these commonly asked questions point at the same thing and that is the human need for validation of their existence. Absurdism We’d all naturally like to think that we have a reason for being, even if it isn’t revealed to us and we have to work it

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Remembering La Mettrie the philosopher physician

Remembering La Mettrie the philosopher physician

  Everyone who studies or has an interest in philosophy has heard of Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Voltaire, Nietzsche, Hegel, Marx and modern philosophers too like Daniel Dennet. I like to guess and think of these people as the popular philosophers because they are the household names that most often show up everywhere on the interwebs when philosophy is discussed. Browse different philosophical websites and forums and you will see that there are countless articles and quotations from this popular pantheon of philosophers. However, there’re other philosophers out there that have not been popularised and therefore their ideas and themselves even,

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There’s no such thing as entropy free lunch

There’s no such thing as entropy free lunch

   What is the difference between a living organism and a chair? Well a chair can maintain its state of equilibrium without the need for any help from its environment. Living beings of the other hand need an input of material and energy to maintain this equilibrium. Without this input living organisms will have to shift to a highly disordered state of equilibrium, the maximum state of entropy is death. To fight against entropy living beings must eat food, who would have thought? Yes, Food and its glorious gustatory blessing! whether it is whole foods or processed foods we need

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