societyofepicurus said: Curious to know if you have any thoughts on Epicurus' teaching (your profile says #philosophy) .... (also a former Baha'i and esperanto-speaker here)

Although his notion of physics is incorrect and dogmatic (since he presumed sensation to be infallible), Epicurus’s thinking on matter and space was instrumental to legitimizing the notion of “limit within infinity” that found realization in the calculus of Leibniz and Newton about two-thousand years later.

Epicurus also admirably clarifies Plato’s confusions (see Gorgias 496C–497A) about different kinds of pleasure being distinct from lack-of-sensation (privation). Despite this practically-ancient correction, Plato’s error is echoed in `Abdu’l-Bahá’s jejune repetition of Augustinian theodicy (postulating that “evil” be understood as “absence of good”).

More than anything, I have always been impressed with the priority Epicurus gives to friendship – the central fulfillment of what is so often misunderstood as the “Epicurean life.”



With all this noisy drama it is easy to forget the real point of Navid’s guerrilla activism; he had one simple and clear request that March Against Monsanto (MAM) and the Anti-GMO crowd have yet to address:

“Please stop using the non-scientific and inflammatory approach of spreading false information about genetically modified crops and attacking people personally.”

It’s fine to be against Monsanto, if that’s what you believe; it’s fine to believe that biotechnology doesn’t have all the answers we need. In fact, it doesn’t. What isn’t fine is to create a political machine with an organizational culture designed around the antithesis of what we know about the healthy role of science. What isn’t fine is to ideologically engage with impressionable youth in the most impoverished regions in the world, and allow junk science or non-science to flow free while authentic education remains scarce.

The keyword here is capacity. We can either build capacity or squander it [ … ]. The March Against Monsanto leadership directed Navid to destroy imaginary Golden Rice fields while denigrating my efforts in teaching my students about organic agriculture because I was a falsely cast as a biotech fat cat.

Madagascar deserves far better. The Atsimo Andrefana region doesn’t have time to make signs and spout nonsense; we need everyone at the table using real science to find real solutions. Everyone should be able to agree to that.


Now that’s a meaningful course evaluation!


How studying women philosophers gives us a full understanding of philosophy.

Originally posted on Feminist Philosophers:

The following is from Jessica Gordon-Roth, Assistant Professor at CUNY-Lehman. The emphasis was added by me, because it is splendid:

I asked my ‘Modern’ students how studying women philosophers shaped their understanding of the early modern period. To my surprise…

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"Reason urges us with fresh ideas and fresh zeal to attack again our yesterday’s discourse on the eating of flesh. It is indeed difficult, as Cato remarked, to talk to bellies which have no ears. And the potion of familiarity has been drunk, like that of Circe [Odyssey, X.236] nor is it easy to extract the hook of flesh-eating, entangled as it is and embedded in the love of pleasure."

De esu carnium 
Plutarch Plutarch, was a Greek historian, biographer, and essayist, known primarily for his Parallel Lives and Moralia. He is considered today to be a Middle Platonist.

as published in Vol. XII 
of the Loeb Classical Library edition, 1957