The problem of Aristippus at Cicero, De officiis 1.148

Author: McConnell, Sean
Title: The problem of Aristippus at Cicero, De officiis 1.148
Review/Collection: Mnemosyne 76
Year edition: 2023
Pages: 121–135
Keywords: Philologie - Filologia - Philology, Philosophie - Filosofia - Philosophy
Description: The manuscripts of De officiis all record something strange at 1.148: Cicero says that the philosophers Socrates and Aristippus had exceptional licence to flout social custom and convention owing to their ‘great and divine good qualities’ (magna et divina bona). There are no worries about Socrates, but the example of Aristippus seems preposterous. This paper makes the following argument: (1) elsewhere Cicero defines divina bona in such a way to exclude hedonists; this should rule out crediting Aristippus with magna et divina bona alongside Socrates; (2) all scholarly efforts to account for the presence of Aristippus at 1.148 fail to convince; (3) the name Aristippus at 1.148 should, therefore, be remedied; (4) there are excellent philosophical reasons to think that Antisthenes, a follower of Socrates who is credited with setting in motion the Cynic philosophical tradition, is the name that Cicero wrote or should have written in the original [Author].
Author initials: McConnell 2023a