The Family in De Officiis

Author: Wynne, P.F.
Title: The Family in De Officiis
Review/Collection: In : Woolf, Raphael (ed.), Cicero’s De Officiis : A Critical Guide, Cambridge Critical Guides, Cambridge University Press, 2023, 257 p. [Woolf 2023]
Place edition: Cambridge New York
Editor: Cambridge University Press
Year edition: 2023
Pages: 15-41
Keywords: Commentaires - Commenti - Commentaries, Philosophie - Filosofia - Philosophy
Description: In De Officiis, Cicero values very highly the little society of parents and their children: an origin of society and seedbed of the republic, whose members should rank extraordinarily high among each other’s priorities. In light of Cicero’s biography and longstanding interest in a philosophical debate about parental love, I argue that Cicero’s position is that nature gives to humans a non-rational desire to care for their children, which leads many parents to rational love of their children, whereby they care about what is natural for at least some other humans, their children, as they care about it for themselves, holding property in common within the household. The rest of the family thereby learn loving attitudes. Such parents and their home are for their children images, however flawed, of virtue and a virtuous society. By making this experience common, nature teaches a lesson in what virtuous altruists would be like [Author].
Author initials: Wynne 2023