Ideas of M. Tullius Cicero, by Theme

[Roman, 106 - 43 BCE, Born at Arpinum. Studied in Rhodes. Taught by Philo of Larissa. Lawyer and orator. Murdered by supporters of Julius Caesar.]

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1. Philosophy / A. Wisdom / 1. Nature of Wisdom
Cicero sees wisdom in terms of knowledge, but earlier Stoics saw it as moral [Long]
1. Philosophy / A. Wisdom / 2. Wise People
Unfortunately we choose a way of life before we are old enough to think clearly
A wise man has integrity, firmness of will, nobility, consistency, sobriety, patience
1. Philosophy / D. Nature of Philosophy / 5. Aims of Philosophy / e. Philosophy as reason
Philosophy is the collection of rational arguments
2. Reason / C. Styles of Reason / 1. Dialectic
Dialectic is speech cast in the form of logical argument
2. Reason / F. Fallacies / 5. Fallacy of Composition
If the parts of the universe are subject to the law of nature, the whole universe must also be subject to it
3. Truth / A. Truth Problems / 1. Truth
There cannot be more than one truth
5. Theory of Logic / D. Assumptions for Logic / 1. Bivalence
How can the not-true fail to be false, or the not-false fail to be true?
5. Theory of Logic / D. Assumptions for Logic / 2. Excluded Middle
Dialectic assumes that all statements are either true or false, but self-referential paradoxes are a big problem
12. Knowledge Sources / B. Perception / 1. Perception
If we have complete healthy senses, what more could the gods give us?
12. Knowledge Sources / E. Direct Knowledge / 4. Memory
How can there be a memory of what is false?
13. Knowledge Criteria / D. Scepticism / 3. Illusion Scepticism
Every true presentation can have a false one of the same quality
15. Nature of Minds / A. Nature of Mind / 2. Psuche
The soul is the heart, or blood in the heart, or part of the brain, of something living in heart or brain, or breath
15. Nature of Minds / A. Nature of Mind / 5. Unity of Mind
How can one mind perceive so many dissimilar sensations?
The soul has a single nature, so it cannot be divided, and hence it cannot perish
16. Persons / C. Self-Awareness / 3. Limits of Introspection
Like the eye, the soul has no power to see itself, but sees other things
16. Persons / F. Free Will / 6. Determinism / a. Determinism
Whoever knows future causes knows everything that will be
17. Mind and Body / A. Mind-Body Dualism / 8. Dualism of Mind Critique
Why would mind mix with matter if it didn't need it?
17. Mind and Body / E. Mind as Physical / 7. Anti-Physicalism / a. Physicalism critique
Souls contain no properties of elements, and elements contain no properties of souls
19. Language / F. Communication / 1. Rhetoric
Eloquence educates, exhorts, comforts, distracts and unites us, and raises us from savagery
Oratory and philosophy are closely allied; orators borrow from philosophy, and ornament it
22. Metaethics / C. Ethics Foundations / 1. Nature of Ethics / g. Moral responsibility
If desire is not in our power then neither are choices, so we should not be praised or punished
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 2. Elements of Virtue Theory / c. Motivation for virtue
Virtues must be very detached, to avoid being motivated by pleasure
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 3. Virtues / f. Compassion
We should not share the distress of others, but simply try to relieve it
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 4. External Goods / c. Wealth
All men except philosophers fear poverty
23. Ethics / D. Deontological Ethics / 3. Universalisability
The essence of propriety is consistency
24. Political Theory / D. Ideologies / 5. Democracy / f. Against democracy
If one despises illiterate mechanics individually, they are not worth more collectively
25. Social Practice / D. Justice / 3. Punishment / c. Deterrence of crime
We have the death penalty, but still have thousands of robbers
26. Natural Theory / A. Speculations on Nature / 1. Nature
Some regard nature simply as an irrational force that imparts movement
28. God / A. Divine Nature / 4. Divine Contradictions
Why shouldn't the gods fear their own destruction?
28. God / A. Divine Nature / 6. Divine Morality / b. Euthyphro question
I wonder whether loss of reverence for the gods would mean the end of all virtue
28. God / A. Divine Nature / 6. Divine Morality / d. God decrees morality
God doesn't obey the laws of nature; they are subject to the law of God
28. God / B. Proving God / 2. Proofs of Reason / a. Ontological Proof
It seems clear to me that we have an innate idea of the divine
28. God / B. Proving God / 2. Proofs of Reason / b. Ontological Proof critique
Many primitive people know nothing of the gods
28. God / B. Proving God / 3. Proofs of Evidence / b. Teleological Proof
It is obvious from order that someone is in charge, as when we visit a gymnasium
If a person cannot feel the power of God when looking at the stars, they are probably incapable of feeling
If the barbarians of Britain saw a complex machine, they would be baffled, but would know it was designed
Chance is no more likely to create the world than spilling lots of letters is likely to create a famous poem
28. God / B. Proving God / 3. Proofs of Evidence / c. Teleological Proof critique
If everything with regular movement and order is divine, then recurrent illnesses must be divine
28. God / C. Attitudes to God / 1. Monotheism
Either the gods are identical, or one is more beautiful than another
28. God / C. Attitudes to God / 4. God Reflects Humanity
The gods are happy, so virtuous, so rational, so must have human shape
28. God / C. Attitudes to God / 5. Atheism
Why believe in gods if you have never seen them?
29. Religion / D. Religious Issues / 3. Problem of Evil / a. Problem of Evil
The lists of good men who have suffered and bad men who have prospered are endless
29. Religion / D. Religious Issues / 3. Problem of Evil / b. Human Evil
The gods blame men for having vices, but they could have given us enough reason to avoid them