Nos in diem vivimus, Cicero’s Approach in the Tusculan Disputations

Author: Roskam, Geert
Title: Nos in diem vivimus, Cicero’s Approach in the Tusculan Disputations
Review/Collection: In : Gilbert, Nathan & Graver, Margaret & McConnell, Sean (eds.), Power and Persuasion in Cicero's Philosophy. Cambridge University Press. 320 pp.
Place edition: New York
Editor: Cambridge University Press
Year edition: 2023
Pages: 77-96
Keywords: Philosophie - Filosofia - Philosophy
Description: In a striking passage from the last book of his Tusculan Disputations, Cicero claims to live from day to day (nos in diem vivimus; 5.33). He always opts for what he deems probable, and this, he argues, also constitutes his freedom. This remarkable statement, which is obviously rooted in Cicero’s Academic philosophy, is far from unproblematic. This contribution aims at a better understanding of Cicero’s claim, through an analysis of his argumentative strategies in Tusculan Disputations. More precisely, attention is given to Cicero’s use of (1) the argument from common sense, (2) the argument from dignitas and decorum, (3) illustrative examples, and (4) to his approach in introducing the philosophical topics of the conversation. Finally, I deal with the complicated question as to whether Cicero’s sophisticated attitude of in diem vivere can be reconciled with the therapeutic goal of Tusculan Disputations. [Author]
Author initials: Roskam 2023