Posted by The Boy Who Lost His Dog and Wept on March 12, 2002 at 12:23:20:
In Reply to: maybe not Epicurian? posted by Kelli on March 11, 2002 at 22:49:39:
Unfortunately, the last time I read anything in relation to Epicurus was over 10 years ago and what I can recall made no mention of self control (or Dionysian extremes for that matter)! I took a trip to www.dictionary.com for a quick refresher of some definitions (don't mind the pronunciation keys, many characters and numbers were lost during the 'copy and paste'):
Ap·ol·lo·ni·an Pronunciation Key (p-ln-n)
Greek Mythology. Of or relating to Apollo or his cult.
Characterized by clarity, harmony, and restraint.
In the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche, of or embodying the power of critical reason as opposed to the creative-intuitive.
often apollonian Serenely high-minded; noble.
ep·i·cu·re·an Pronunciation Key (p-ky-rn, -kyr-)
Devoted to the pursuit of sensual pleasure, especially to the enjoyment of good food and comfort.
Suited to the tastes of an epicure: an epicurean repast.
Epicurean Of or relating to Epicurus or Epicureanism.
Di·o·nys·i·an Pronunciation Key (d-nshn, -nzhn, -ns-n)
Of or relating to Dionysus.
Of or devoted to the worship of Dionysus.
often dionysian Of an ecstatic, orgiastic, or irrational nature; frenzied or undisciplined: “remained the nearest to the instinctual, the irrational in music, and thus to the Dionysian spirit in art” (Musco Carner).
often dionysian In the philosophy of Nietzsche, of or displaying creative-intuitive power as opposed to critical-rational power.
It is safe to say that an epicurean lifestyle is more controlled and certainly less extreme than a dionysian one. If we accept the definition referenced above I think your correlation is probably more accurate. I guess I'm living in denial about the west's future... heh.
: Perhaps one can oppose the Apollonian with the Dionysian, rather than Epicurian. Ultimately, although Epicurus taught a materialist metaphysics, he did teach that tranquility was the highest pleasure and that this could be attained by LIMITING one's desires. That doesn't sound like the US does it? I mean, today's west is about fulfilling, and indeed, over-fulfilling any and every desire pops into one's head. Epicurus would roll in his grave.
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