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Victor Nuovo: Lucretius on Civilization and its Discontents

Posted on May 5, 2016 |
By Victor Nuovo



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Editor’s note: This is the 11th in a series of essays on Lucretius, an early philosopher who provides a link to “lost classics” through his epic poem “On the Nature of Things.”

Lucretius supposed that the human species is exceptional in one way only: we are, compared to other animals, ill prepared for life. It is left to us to find ways to achieve security and comfort; the product of our efforts is civilization.

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Nuovo on Lucretius: Our accidental world

Posted on April 28, 2016 |
By Victor Nuovo



Nuovo,Victor1754.jpg

One of Lucretius’ main goals in his poem is to teach us that we exist in an accidental world. He believed that the recognition of this fact of was a prerequisite for happiness. The dance of atoms in infinite space is without beginning or end, and from this ceaseless activity there has evolved innumerable worlds or universes of every possible shape, size, and degree of durability — a “multiverse.”

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Victory Nuovo on Lucretius: Dreaming and waking, doubt and certainty

Posted on April 21, 2016 |
By Victor Nuovo



Editor’s note: This is the ninth in a series of essays on Lucretius, an early philosopher who provides a link to “lost classics” through his epic poem “On the Nature of Things.”

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Lucretius: Experience and reality

Posted on April 14, 2016 |
By Victor Nuovo



Editor’s note: This is the eighth in a series of essays on Lucretius, an early philosopher who provides a link to “lost classics” through his epic poem “On the Nature of Things.”

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Victor Nuovo: Lucretius: The matter of mind and soul

Posted on April 7, 2016 |
By Victor Nuovo



Lucretius supposed that mind and soul (in Latin, animus and anima) are parts of the body, and because all bodies, including the bodies of animals, are material things, they also are material things. They are organs, which is to say they do certain sorts of work that are more or less essential to the body as a living thing, which is suitably called an organism. Hands are organs, so is the tongue, the heart. And so are mind and soul.

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Victor Nuovo: Lucretius: Philosopher's view of the universe remains relevant today

Posted on March 31, 2016 |
By Victor Nuovo



Nuovo,Victor1754.jpg

The universe as imagined by Lucretius does not conform precisely to our current view of it, yet its affinities to ours are more striking than their differences, and there are continuities of meaning. They are of the same lineage.

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Lucretius: What it means to say 'Nothing comes to be from nothing'

Posted on March 24, 2016 |
By Victor Nuovo



Editor’s note: This is the fifth in a series of essays on Lucretius, an early philosopher who provides a link to “lost classics” through his epic poem “On the Nature of Things.”

The proposition, “Nothing comes to be from nothing,” is the fundamental principle of the system of nature that Lucretius presents in De Rerum Natura. The principle is of great antiquity, which is not surprising, because, on the face of it, it seems a matter of common sense, which may speak well of our species.

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Victor Nuovo on Lucretius: The how and why of things

Posted on March 10, 2016 |
By Victor Nuovo



The German philosopher G.W. Leibniz (1646–1716), in a short discourse on metaphysics, asked the question, “Why is there something, rather than nothing?” He considered this the fundamental question of philosophical inquiry, which was unavoidable in the light of what he believed was a self-evident truth and philosophical axiom that nothing comes to be without a sufficient reason for its being.

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Opinion: Selectman thankful for his support

Posted on March 7, 2016 |
By Victor Nuovo



I want to thank the voters of Middlebury for electing me to a three-year term on the selectboard. I am grateful for your vote and honored by it, and I will do my very best to serve you and to promote the best interests of our town.

Victor Nuovo

Middlebury

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Lucretius: the nature of things - On Religion and Peace

Posted on March 3, 2016 |
By Victor Nuovo



In the prologue to Book I of De Rerum Natura, Lucretius introduces three main themes. They are the system of the heavens, the origin of all things, and the nature of the Gods. The first two are strictly natural themes suitable for a naturalist: astronomy and physics. The third is curious, for Lucretius and his poem have been condemned down through the ages for atheism and irreligion.

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