Oikeiosis, ratio, and natura: the Stoic challenge to Cicero’s academism in “De finibus” and “Natura deorum”

Author: Noe, David C.
Title: Oikeiosis, ratio, and natura: the Stoic challenge to Cicero’s academism in “De finibus” and “Natura deorum”
Year edition: 2003
Pages: 225
Keywords: Philosophie - Filosofia - Philosophy, Sources - Fonti - Sources
Description: Thesis (Ph. D.) - The University of Iowa, Iowa City (Iowa).  This dissertation traces Cicero's interaction with three important Stoic concepts, oikeiosis, ratio and natura, in Fin. 3-4 and ND 1-3. The Introduction presents the thesis and a survey of Cicero's philosophical works which demonstrates that his profession of skeptical Academism was consistent. Chapter 1 demonstrates that discussion of Cicero's ethics must begin with Fin. The history of oikeiosis prior to Cicero is explained, and the section concludes with the overlap between Stoicism and mos maiorum . Chapter 2 examines the failure of Epicureanism to meet Cicero's standards for rationality and social justice. This directs him to Stoicism as an alternative. Chapters 3 and 4 show that oikeiosis is fundamental to Stoic ethics, and that Cicero is committed to the beneficent role of natura in the development of morality and society despite its Stoic origins. This investigation of Stoic thought involves the search for summum bonum, the categorization of officia , and the implications of both for justice and piety. Chapter 5 shows that although Cicero rejects secondary aspects of Stoic ethics developed from natura, he does so because of his commitment to that notion. This conclusion is then tested within the theological framework of ND 1-3. Chapter 6 explains Cicero's attempt to join the opposing theories of Academic probabilism and Stoic natura. This effort is unsuccessful because he first commits himself to the priority of ratio over auctoritas, with the Academic attack on Epicureanism as backdrop. Chapter 7 presents Stoic theology, emphasizes points of identity with Cicero's account in Fin. 3, and offers the possibility of using Academic license to adopt Stoic teaching. In Chapter 8, the fourfold Academic attack on Stoicism is examined and the roles of ratio and auctoritas maiorum in religious belief-formation are contrasted. Cicero emphatically chooses the latter. The Conclusion examines the controversial ending of ND for the light it sheds on the conflict in Cicero's philosophy between skeptical Academism and Stoicism. In ethics and theology, Cicero chooses the Stoic version of ratio , which is identified with natura and may rely on auctoritas, but rejects Academic ratio
Link: https://philpapers.org/rec/NOEORA
Author initials: Noe 2003