more from Epicurus

Single Idea 1909

[catalogued under 17. Mind and Body / E. Mind as Physical / 7. Anti-Physicalism / a. Physicalism critique]

Full Idea

If Epicurus makes the end consist in pleasure and asserts that the soul, like all else, is composed of atoms, it is impossible to explain how in a heap of atoms there can come about pleasure, or judgement of the good.

Gist of Idea

How can pleasure or judgement occur in a heap of atoms?


comment on Epicurus (fragments/reports [c.289 BCE]) by Sextus Empiricus - Outlines of Pyrrhonism III.187

Book Reference

Sextus Empiricus: 'Outlines of Pyrrhonism', ed/tr. Bury,R.G. [Prometheus 1990], p.252

A Reaction

This is a nice statement of the mind-body problem. Ontologically, physics still seems to present reality as a 'heap of particles', which gives no basis for the emergence of anything as strange as consciousness. But then magnetism is pretty strange.