Conflict of Duties in Cicero’s De Officiis

Auteur: Tsouni, Georgia
Titre: Conflict of Duties in Cicero’s De Officiis
Revue/Collection: In : Woolf, Raphael (ed.), Cicero’s De Officiis : A Critical Guide, Cambridge Critical Guides, Cambridge University Press, 2023, 257 p. [Woolf 2023]
Lieu èdition: Cambridge New York
Éditeur: Cambridge University Press
Annèe edition: 2023
Pages: 42-60
Mots-clès: Commentaires - Commenti - Commentaries, Philosophie - Filosofia - Philosophy
Description: Cicero’s De Officiis offers the most extensive discussion of the Stoic concept of duty (Greek kathēkon). The chapter addresses the way Cicero introduces into his treatise, with the support of relevant examples, the topic of conflict between different duties and their corresponding actions. The first part of the chapter discusses the influence of the Stoic Panaetius’ treatise ‘On Duty’ on Cicero and Cicero’s divergence from Panaetius in his treatment of conflict of duties. The second part of the chapter analyses how duty applies to different social relationships in De Officiis and how these duties are prioritized, in case of conflict, according to the specific circumstances of action. It is thereby shown that the idea of conflict of duties in Cicero excludes ‘tragic dilemmas’, supporting the Stoic view that there is only one dutiful action to be discharged on every occasion. Finally, the third part of the chapter presents the conflict between the ‘expedient’ and ‘honourable’ courses of action in De Officiis and Cicero’s attempt to present, in line with Stoic views, such a conflict as merely apparent. [Author].
Sigle auteur: Tsouni 2023