Emulation and Moral Development in De Officiis

Auteur: White, Georgina
Titre: Emulation and Moral Development in 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: 139-160
Mots-clès: Commentaires - Commenti - Commentaries, Philosophie - Filosofia - Philosophy
Description: Given the apparent importance of exempla to Cicero’s project in De Officiis, any account of Cicero’s philosophical method in this work is forced to grapple with the question of how these historical insets function within the text. Yet understanding how, exactly, they contribute to the reader’s moral progress is an interpretative challenge: Cicero’s treatment warns us against taking them simply as models for imitation. Instead, I argue, Cicero focuses on three different, but related, functions for his exempla within De Officiis. First, looking at the behaviour of others can help us to develop the analytical skills necessary to correctly deliberate about our own actions. Secondly, exempla work to verify the theoretical claims of the text. Finally, they show the beneficial outcomes of following the teachings of the text, in terms of the glory and praise that accrues to those who engage in correct action – though, as we shall see, this strategy is only effective because of Cicero’s radical redefinition of the concepts of glory and praise. [Author].
Sigle auteur: White 2023