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
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
25. Society / C. Social Justice / 6. Right to Punish / c. Deterrence of crime
We have the death penalty, but still have thousands of robbers
25. Society / D. Political Doctrines / 5. Democracy / a. Nature of democracy
If one despises illiterate mechanics individually, they are not worth more collectively
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
Chance is no more likely to create the world than spilling lots of letters is likely to create a famous poem
If the barbarians of Britain saw a complex machine, they would be baffled, but would know it was designed
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