Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Second Meet and Seneca


The second meeting, on a relatively sunny evening and in a secluded and peaceful (dare I say Epicurean)location went extremely well and we managed to cover quite a few topics of discussion regarding Lucretius (in particular topics related to Book 1 and 2), the text as a whole and some of the issues surrounding the author, the science and the ethics. Determinism v Free Will and how they can interact.

The discussions were wide ranging and I can't remember them all but it was very fruitful and thought provoking and above all very enjoyable. It still surprises me how relatively easy it was to get this group up and running and with the help and contributions of all I am confident that we shall long continue! Thanks to all attending who made it such a success.

Aristotle in Book 6 of his Physics comments on the Epicurean atomic theory and it was suggested that we have a closer look at this text to see if it can throw any light on some of the concepts - the nature of atoms, how they interact and so on.

Discussions about the times in which Lucretius was living and of the rival schools of thought competing for the attention of the Roman literate class led on to Stoics and we will therefore be looking at Seneca (The Younger) and his Letters of a Stoic or Stoic Letters.

A version of this text can be found online here and the Latin text can probably be located at the Perseus Project website. Since it is rather long, and there are a plethora of letters, we have all been given the homework of selecting a few to suggest to the group to focus on for the next session (which is July the 14th as far as I recall and same location, again as far as I recall..please comment if this is not quite right!). So to recap, for next time: Leave your suggestions in the comments below and I will try to boil them down to a finalish list upon which to focus our attentions.

1. Aristotle Physics VI

2. Seneca's Letters of a Stoic (selections) If you find anything germane to Stoics or Stoicism please bring it in!

Thanks to our host for being excellent in all ways! Vale!


  1. Hi All
    I sent an email with my suggestions which were:
    On saving time
    No.4 On the terrors of death
    No.16 On philosophy, the
    guide to life
    No.19 On worldliness and retirement
    No.41 On the God
    within us
    No.58 On being.
    No.87 On some arguments in favour of the
    simple life.
    No.119 On nature as our best provider.

    What do others think?
    There's an interesting In Our Time programme on Stoicism (Marcus Aurelius doesn't come out very well!). It can be downloaded here:
    scroll down the page until you find Stoicism.
    All the best

    1. You are now an author so I think that with the password I sent you you can post now I hope!)