Cicero’s ’De finibus’: Philosophical Approaches

Author: Annas, Julia, and Betegh, Gábor (eds.)
Title: Cicero’s ’De finibus’: Philosophical Approaches
Place edition: Cambridge
Editor: Cambridge University Press
Year edition: 2016
Pages: vii + 266
Keywords: Philosophie - Filosofia - Philosophy

Gilbert, Nathan, “The Classical Review”, 67, 1, 2017, 72-74

Klein, Jacob, “Bryn Mawr Classical Review”, 2017.05.29:

McConnell, Sean, “JRS” 109, 2019, 400-401: doi:10.1017/S007543581900039X

Robitzsch, Jan Maximilian, “Polis: The Journal for Ancient Greek and Roman Political Thought”, 35, 1, 2018, 273-276

Ward, Kelsey, “Ancient Philosophy”, 38, 2, 2018, 473-477



Description: Cicero’s ’De finibus’: Philosophical Approaches, ISBN 9781107074835. £64.99/US$99.99[Giacobbe, Alberto] [Comment] Il volume contiene nove studi sul De finibus che partecipano, e anzi segnano un importante progresso, del rinnovato interesse accademico per l'opera e il pensiero filosofici di Cicerone nella misura in cui vi si riconoscono suoi contributi originali. Il De finibus è sempre stata considerata dalla critica un'opera paradigmatica dell'approccio ciceroniano al pensiero filosofico ed alla sua divulgazione, ma se in passato si è per lo più insistito sugli aspetti dossografici o sulle implicazioni letterarie e politiche, ora l'attenzione è rivolta a sottolineare l'originalità del pensiero dell'Arpinate. Il primo contributo indaga la natura dei metodi scettici impiegati nel De finibus; tre studi considerano il trattamento dell'epicureismo nei libri primo e secondo; altre due coppie di articoli si occupano rispettivamente di un'analisi filosofica del terzo libro e della critica dello stoicismo nel quarto; l'ultimo saggio, infine, discute della teoria etica di Antioco esposta nel quinto libro.[McConnell, Sean] [Review] Recent years have seen a renewed scholarly interest in Cicero’s philosophical works, and it is now routine to talk of the innovative and sophisticated elements of Cicero’s own philosophical thought and practice. This volume heralds a substantial advance in that it moves well beyond the project of rehabilitation and undertakes a concerted and multi-pronged philosophical analysis of a specific key text, the De Finibus. This work has often been held up as an excellent example of the relatively tame philosophising undertaken by Cicero, which relies heavily on reproducing and critically assessing the ethical arguments and standpoints to be found among the Hellenistic schools of philosophy. Classical scholars have focused predominately on the doxography and on the literary and political dimensions of the De Finibus; the various contributors to this volume approach the text from a variety of (often technical) philosophical perspectives and with a powerful methodology, close and rigorous analytic reading of the Latin text, and the result is overwhelmingly clear: the volume as a whole transforms our understanding of the De Finibus as a work of philosophy. The volume comprises nine papers delivered to the 12th Symposium Hellenisticum held in Budapest in June 2010, together with a short introduction by Julia Annas. The first chapter by Charles Brittain focuses on the precise nature of Cicero’s sceptical methods in the De Finibus. Three chapters focus on Cicero’s treatment of Epicureanism in Books 1 and 2. Two chapters examine philosophical issues in Book 3. Two chapters focus on the critique of Stoicism in Book 4. The final chapter by Christopher Gill discusses Antiochus’ theory of ethical development in Book 5 against the Stoic alternative presented in Book 3. On the whole, this is a first-rate collection of papers, essential reading for specialists, and a great advertisement for the quality of contemporary philosophical work on Cicero.
Author initials: Annas & Betegh 2016