Alright, I admit, I fell for the Cicero meme. So tell me, how is this considered philosophy? It's literally just rhetoric and oratory. Is this like Seneca and Nietzsche where people call him a philosopher because they cite other philosophers? It's not even political philosophy.
Alright, I admit, I fell for the Cicero meme. So tell me, how is this considered philosophy?
Falling into your wing while paragliding is called 'gift wrapping' and turns you into a dirt torpedo pic.twitter.com/oQFKsVISkI— Mental Videos (@MentalVids) March 15, 2023
Cicero is like Augustine in that he's not a systematic philosopher in the sense preferred by moderns but is more like a Pascal or Montaigne, a brilliant essayist who could write thoughtfully on anything, and from whom shockingly brilliant insights sometimes emerge without any explanation. Both Augustine and Cicero are also products of post-Alexandrian Hellenistic culture which always had a general bent towards eclecticism. It was the running assumption of later Hellenism that philosophy should guide life, not provide access to ultimate truth or ultimate salvation for humanity. Neoplatonism was partly a reaction against this eclecticism and pragmatism. Augustine is a more brilliant philosopher in his own right, partly because of the Platonic influence and because he skews Platonic and metaphysical in general while Cicero skews sceptical and pragmatic. But they're both very Hellenistic. You don't read Cicero to memorize a system, you read him to feel like you're in a grove discussing philosophy with several representatives of the major schools at a time when the world felt old and tired, and the mystery religions hadn't yet arrived on the scene preaching millenarianism and soteriology. Similar to how you read Augustine even if you aren't a Christian.
>post-Alexandrian Hellenistic culture which always had a general bent towards eclecticism
Never heard about this bend towards eclecticism. Do you have more resources about this? What kind of eclecticism?
>they're both very Hellenistic
Ok what does that mean? Hellenistic schools are usually Stoicism, Epicureanism, Skepticism. Cicero was responding against Epicureanism, but are you saying they're both equally superficial even if you don't want to use this term because you think there's value in it? How is Augustine Hellenistic? Because he was not systematic? Pyrrho seems more systematic than Augustine and he's Hellenistic. I'm just not sure this Hellenistic world really exists especially if you want to include Augustine in it.
>You don't read Cicero to memorize a system, you read him to feel like you're in a grove discussing philosophy with several representatives of the major schools at a time when the world felt old and tired
It's not so much old and tired as it is superficial and shallow. It's literally just rhetoric, not philosophy. All of his statements sound good but if you inquire deeper into them, there's no elaboration whatsoever.
> and the mystery religions hadn't yet arrived on the scene preaching millenarianism and soteriology. Similar to how you read Augustine even if you aren't a Christian.
That just sounds like a random jab at Christianity. What mystery religions? Pythagoreanism had a continuation since before the Pre-socratics, and middle pythagoreanism was just a natural continuation.
Ignore earlier poster.
Cicero is good philosopher. His republic is obv reconstructed in parts which makes it stilted. He is in dialogue with Plato and Aristotle which will enrich enjoyment if read their political works.
Mystery religions had arrived on the scene btw fyi. Read Macrobius commentary on the dream of scipio if you truly wish to understand the esoteric meaning of it all...
>Cicero is good philosopher.
No he's not. Post one paragraph of his to demonstrate that he is. I can pick anything to show you he's not, but you'll say I'm cherry picking.
The mysteries were always present, of course, and they stretch back into the Archaic period at least. What I meant in my earlier post is that in Cicero's day one didn't have to reckon on an everyday basis with fast-growing millenarian cults. It was just the typical shit with every aristocrat having some initiation or other (or ten).
Well eclecticism can mean two things in this context, there is a "school" sometimes called or calling itself eclectic, usually capitalized, but more often Hellenistic philosophy is considered "eclectic" in the sense that it melds a lot of post-Socratic schools and discourses together indifferently because its main aims are pragmatic, e.g. its conception of eudaimonia is purely ethical and individual and is not salvific/soteriological. Even the cosmological doctrines and debates of, say, Stoicism are just background for its practical philosophy. There is also a marked sceptical strain in all the schools because scepticism was regarded as being an ineradicable/non-ignorable victory claimant in the logical aftermath of the Socratic revolution.
Cicero is a good example of this milieu since he's willing to sample from and read all the schools and he also associates with self-identifying representatives of them, and all their conversations end in a kind of disappointing (to them as well) aporia. There is clearly no metaphysical/cosmological "verve" going on in these circles. Nor is there any sincere religiosity. To be wise basically means to be an effective atheist, semi-sceptic aristocrat in an "old world," with a half-hearted interest in cosmology, coupled with an awareness that no certainty can be had in it. It's not accidental that within a century or two of that, you get the concerted neo-realist, anti-sceptical schools of revived/neo-peripateticism and Platonism, walking hand in hand with the new religiosity of the mystery schools.
>Ok what does that mean?
Everything post-Socratic revolution, so yes Stoicism Epicureanism and Scepticism. But Hellenism also means the broad diffusion of Greek culture through Alexander's empire and its neighboring states, a framework that gets inherited by Rome. Even the Parthian state was basically Hellenistic, and Hellenism stretched as far as the Indus valley to Spain and Gaul and the Chersonese. Again it's not hard to see how the vague and increasingly verve-less philosophy of Hellenism goes hand in hand with a spread-thin and exhausted philo-Greek cultural space / Roman empire. Everybody within this space would be familiar with learnedly eclectic references to Plato and the Stoics, to Homer and to pagan religiosity, to Isis and the mysteries to Judaism, without necessarily being passionate believers in any of them. It was an old world in which encyclopedic but noncommittal knowledge and a wisely aloof detachment from worldly affairs were signs of leisured life.
Augustine is Hellenistic in this expansive sense, but he is late antique as well, meaning he is also looking for a "gnostic" certainty that is unsatisfied by decadent Pax Romana Hellenism. He is a bricoleur who jumps from school to school in his youth, he's still converting and lapsing in his conversions even upon his arrival in Italy, etc.
>Pyrrho seems more systematic
I think you might be confused by an ambiguity in how I'm using "systematic." I don't mean inconsequential, I mean given to rigorous systematic presentation, like Aristotle's philosophy, or Stoic cosmology, or Plato to a certain degree. Pyrrho (from what we know of him) was highly consequential in his arguments, as every ancient philosopher was because they were much more "scholastic" in their logical rigor than almost any thinker today is. But he wasn't much for elaborate systematic cosmology or "theology" (metaphysics) the way, say, the gnostic author of the Apocryphon of John is, or the way Proclus is in his Elements. Pyrrho is highly systematic post-Socratic quietist and non-"gnostic." Hellenistic philosophy between Plato/Aristotle and the new gnostic impulses of the 1st and 2nd centuries AD is generally focused on ethics, which is generally quietist and individualist, and less directly focused on "gnostic" certainty in its metaphysics. But like I said you can also see Stoic influences all over people like Paul, Augustine, etc.
>It's not so much old and tired as it is superficial and shallow
Cicero is superficial and shallow in a sense, but his reasons for being so are deep. Not many people find the quietism and sceptical world-weariness of "high/late Hellenism" compelling these days (many did in the 17th-18th centuries for example, when an almost neo-pagan this-worldliness and concern for "how to live the best life" competed with devotional Christianity for dominance in elite culture). But it's still necessary to understand as the backdrop of the gnostic/mystery era, of which the rise of Christianity was a subset.
I don't know what you mean by a jab at Christianity, or about Pythagoreanism. Pythagoreanism/neo-Pythagoreanism had multiple phases of revival, like Peripateticism. We don't know a ton about the continuities between "real" Pythagoreanism and the neo-Pythagoreanism of Plato's day, and it's a long road from there to Nigidius Figulus, and another huge set of developments from him to Numenius.
People are so combative on LULZ lately. Why the "ignore earlier poster" / "fuck you prove to me Cicero is good!" tone? These kinds of discussions should be constructive even in disagreement.
>systematic presentation [of] Stoic cosmology
Where can I find this?
>Cicero is superficial and shallow in a sense, but his reasons for being so are deep.
Maybe deep in a shallow sense. There's nothing deep about pragmatism. Pragmatism in itself is shallow and cannot be otherwise.
>People are so combative on LULZ lately. Why the [...] "fuck you prove to me Cicero is good!"
I mean if someone simply asserts Cicero is good with no reasoning, what do you expect?
The Cicero most people read is the most boring cicero. Read the academica or the tusculanae disputationes, or de natura deorum. I've heard this critique all my life that Cicero was second rate and it's always just struck me as anglo posturing, like some Cambridge sophomore said it once and everyone has just repeated it since. I've never met anyone who has actually read Cicero (beyond the meme texts you'll touch on in a survey course or second year Latin) who feels that way
>like some Cambridge sophomore said it once and everyone has just repeated it since.
You don't need to hear it anywhere, simply read the book in the OP.
>but but you haven't read X, Y, Z
Yes, I'm not going to read his entire corpus just because some anon namedrop it. Let me guess, you can't defend your point either, and if I ask why he's good, I'll be accused of being too combative lmao
I agree with this and good recommendations. De natura deorum is one of the comfiest books ever. When I was reading it a really nice English couple who both studied physics approached me and we had a nice conversation, so it's a good luck charm too.
>it's le comfy!
Guess he's a great philosopher then.
Cicero cannot hurt you. He is reincarnated into my friend Eddie and doesn't even know who you are.
Who said anything about him being boring are you guys illiterate? He's NOT boring, he's quite pleasant and entertaining. But that doesn't make him a philosopher. He's an orator, an entertaining one, but entirely shallow like all rhetoricians. What's wrong with you? Where did I say he's boring? How narrow-minded are you? It's baffling.
cicero reminds me of someone who gets 0 pussy my nigga. He's jus a lil bitch ass nigga who gets xero pussy my nigga. no hoes wanna bust out they pussy fo a nigga u no what im sayin.
relax big guy
My point is your saying he's not a philosopher which makes sense since you don't appear to have actually read any of his philosophical texts. If you read his philosophical texts you might have a sense of what kind of philosopher he actually is. But that's no guarantee because you do not betray a very high level of reading comprehension or general intelligence, so you might be better off just sticking with your sophomoric opinion and going back to whatever you think good philosophy is
Post something that demonstrates these texts are real philosophy or stop wasting my time because I'm not into chasing phantasm created by an idiot who thinks that boring and not philosophy are equivalent properties
>>1. Literally, the love of, including the search after, wisdom; in actual usage, the knowledge of phenomena as explained by, and resolved into, causes and reasons, powers and laws.
>- When applied to any particular department of knowledge, philosophy denotes the general laws or principles under which all the subordinate phenomena or facts relating to that subject are comprehended. Thus philosophy, when applied to God and the divine government, is called theology; when applied to material objects, it is called physics; when it treats of man, it is called anthropology and psychology, with which are connected logic and ethics; when it treats of the necessary conceptions and relations by which philosophy is possible, it is called metaphysics.
>- "Philosophy has been defined: The science of things divine and human, and the causes in which they are contained; -- the science of effects by their causes; -- the science of sufficient reasons; -- the science of things possible, inasmuch as they are possible; -- the science of things evidently deduced from first principles; -- the science of truths sensible and abstract; -- the application of reason to its legitimate objects; -- the science of the relations of all knowledge to the necessary ends of human reason; -- the science of the original form of the ego, or mental self; -- the science of science; -- the science of the absolute; -- the science of the absolute indifference of the ideal and real." Sir W. Hamilton.
Well if we're gonna copy paste wikis then you will see on Cicero's wiki that he is a philosopher.
wiki? that's from webster.
It's when you build your arguments primarily on reason not on literary artifices
I recommend multiple great texts of his. You can check them out if you're serious. And if you're not serious, well then we're all just wasting our time, aren't we
Grow up fag and read Nabokov
Like I said there's boring cicero (philippics, political writing, de legibus), and there's interesting Cicero, from the tusculanae disputationes to somnum scipionis. If you read only his boring writings you'll rightfully think he's boring. If you read his more interesting writings you'll see he's more interesting. It's not that complicated.
Why are you reading the Republic? Read On Duties.
>It's literally just rhetoric and oratory.
philosophy is rhetoric and oratory all the way down.
>It's literally just rhetoric and oratory.
So what's the consensus on cicero
Cicero is great
it's pronounced kikero
Not in English, no.