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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



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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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Victor Nuovo: Why read Lucretius?

Posted on February 18, 2016 |
By Victor Nuovo



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This essay begins a new series of philosophical reflections. Like the former, it will focus on a classical text, in this instance one from the Roman era, “De Rerum Natura” (“On the Nature of Things”), by Lucretius, or, Titus Lucretius Carus, to give him his full name. It is a great epic poem, published around the middle of the first century B.C.E., whose theme, the most universal of all, is just everything.

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Victor Nuovo: Plato grapples to define good and evil

Posted on December 30, 2015 |
By Victor Nuovo



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Editor’s note: This is the 16th and last in a series of essays or reflections about the Republic, a book written two and a half millennia ago by the great philosopher Plato.

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Victor Nuovo: Why Read Plato?

Posted on December 23, 2015 |
By Victor Nuovo



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Editor’s note: This is the 15th in a series of essays or reflections about the Republic, a book written two and a half millennia ago by the great philosopher Plato.

After I had completed the 14th essay, which was supposed to be the last, I was gently reminded by a friend that I had failed to make good on my promise to explain why someone like me, who is not a Platonist and whose settled opinions about the nature of things are decidedly anti-Plato, should nevertheless find deep satisfaction and fulfillment in reading his works and writing about them.

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Victor Nuovo: Justice and happiness one last time

Posted on December 17, 2015 |
By Victor Nuovo



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Editor’s note: This is the 14th in a series of essays or reflections about the Republic, a book written two and a half millennia ago by the great philosopher Plato.

Plato’s philosophical play is complete in four acts. Act Five is an epilogue, whose theme is a question that seems constantly to recur: Is the pursuit of justice really worthwhile?

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