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Wilfrid Laurier University
Contemporary Studies
Barry Stephenson

Ancients andthoderns November 5 , 2011 Week 9, Monday Epicurus Born 343 BCE; Samos- became one of classical Greece's most influential philosophers p. 72-73 Atomism Pleasure- but not hedonism Classical ethics- about having a good time, not do's and don'ts Target of smear campaign- see pp. 76-78 comes after socrates pre-socratics = early physicists who tried to figure out how the molecules work etc EPICURAN THOUGHTS: – what exists: matter in the void (the universe and stuff in it) – matter consists of tiny particles called atoms- various shapes and sizes and colours – swerves- things swerve together and you get things like a hippo – the universe is eternal and infinite – multiple worlds – the gods- yeah they're there, but don't worry about them – kindness, goodness, motivation is a good way to live life- surround yourself with friends reasons why society doesn't like epicurans- suspicious of philosophers because they wanted people to detach from society, open to slaves and women. Christianity didn't like epicurans because it denied a god watching over the earth, denied immortality after death. Aristotle: you can't tell if you're living a happy life until you look back on it at the end. Chapters 3,4,5 3 in search of lucretius, places lucretius in social historical context 4- the teeth of time- on why so few books from greece and rome have reached us 5 birth and rebirth- florence, humanism, petrarch Ovid: “The versus of sublime Lucretius are destined to perish only when a single day will consign the world to destruction” (p. 52) chapter 6,7,8 6 IN THE LIE FACTORY: goes to work for John XXIII as a papal bureaucrat chapter 6 & 7 Degeneration P 144- forbidden books Index Librorum Prohibitorum launched 1559 Poggios essay against the hypocrites pp. 147-149 -arrest of Pope John XXIII p. 157 “...the question with which Poggio and others in Rome grappled was...” P 156 “plunging back into ancient past” Chapter 8 Summary and intro to the ideas in On the nature of Things In part a polemical text Bullet points in Greenblatts text Excerpts from Lucretius- his concer
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