Stoic Paradoxes – Paradox 5 That the wise man alone is free, and that every fool is a slave.

Stoic Paradoxes – Paradox 5 That the wise man alone is free, and that every fool is a slave.

Stoic Paradoxes – Paradox 5 That the wise man alone is free, and that every fool is a slave.

Now to enter the world of Paradox V. That the wise man alone is free, and that every fool is a slave. As part of the commentary of Cicero’s Stoic Paradoxes. Be mindful that the word slavery has a special meaning here as will be revealed.   A detour into the ideal military leader   Though not a military man himself, Cicero begins by talking about the ideal disposition military generals should possess as part of their character; Cicero then goes on to comment: “But how or over what free man will he exercise control who can not command his

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Stoic Paradoxes – Paradox 4 That Every Fool Is A Madman

Stoic Paradoxes – Paradox 4 That Every Fool Is A Madman

Now to attend to Paradox IV – That every fool is a madman. This one’s only two pages long! However Mark Webb in his CICERO’S PARADOXA STOICORUM:A NEW TRANSLATION WITH PHILOSOPHICAL COMMENTARY for this paradox he says: ‘There is a substantial lacuna in the text here, after which the title paradox, that every fool is insane, is abandoned and two other paradoxes are taken up. They have been identified by Molager and Lee as “Every fool is an exile” and “The wise man cannot be harmed.” Very probably the end of paradox four and the beginning of the other has

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Stoic Paradoxes – paradox 3 All the vices and all the virtues are equal

Stoic Paradoxes – paradox 3 All the vices and all the virtues are equal

  As this series continues on exploring these paradoxes by Cicero, I endeavour to uncover and mine out the topics of each paradox. The next we come across is Paradox III – All the vices and all virtues are equal.   The measure of crime   At the beginning, Cicero, being the statesman he is, tells us what the measure of a crime is: “The matter it may be said is a trifle, but the crime is enormous; for crimes are not to be measured by the issue of events, but from the bad intentions of men” As Rome’s best

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Stoic Paradoxes – Paradox 2 Virtue Is Sufficient For Happiness

Stoic Paradoxes – Paradox 2 Virtue Is Sufficient For Happiness

    The previous paradox stated that virtue is the only good and if virtue is the only good then logically virtue alone is sufficient for happiness and that is what this paradox is all about. It’s a short essay being no more than 3 pages long! On the flip side though there is much content that can be elaborated provided you peruse it carefully. So onwards we go with the commentaries!   Cicero praises Marcus Regulus   Cicero begins by admiring the Consul Marcus Regulus, who fought against the Carthaginians in the first Punic war. Cicero tells us about

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Stoic Paradoxes – Paradox 1 That Virtue Is The Only Good

Stoic Paradoxes – Paradox 1 That Virtue Is The Only Good

  Cicero’s Stoic Paradoxes   The Stoic Paradoxes is a short work written ‘during these shorter nights’ of the year 46BC. The work is comprised of six essays addressed to Marcus Brutus. In the short introduction of the work Cicero’s reasons are given for writing the essays: “I have, for amusement, digested into common-places those topics which the Stoics scarcely prove in their retirement and in their schools. Such topics are termed, even by themselves, paradoxes, because they are remarkable, and contrary to the opinion of all men” Cicero was a man indifferent to the disagreements or the ‘raillery’ of

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The Natural Aesthetic – Nature crafts its own art

The Natural Aesthetic – Nature crafts its own art

    Appreciating the woodland aesthetic   I thought up this article from my readings of mindfulness and Zen philosophy and the many occasions from walking through the woodlands in my local countryside while deep in conversation with Comicus as if we were the peripatetics of Aristotle; talking while on the move. We go about talking in this woodland passing tree after tree and the occasional brook but are we really registering the natural beauty of it all? Are we living in the moment? Here is one picture of some woodland: When the mind is entirely focused on talking there is

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The Absurd Silence Of The Universe

The Absurd Silence Of The Universe

    (Following from the ideas of mentioned in the previous article) Imagine you first prostrate yourself on the ground and rise with outstretched arms towards the sky crying out “what is my purpose?” “why are we here?”. After the mechanical pressure waves we call sound dissipates away its ebbing energy, the absurd silence returns and very well like being put on hold during a telephone call you wait for a reply and find that your utterance is heard only by other living beings. The dog looks in your general direction with a tilted head, the cat glances at you

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The Absolutism of Nothing

The Absolutism of Nothing

  Gaze up through and beyond the heavens and your vision will be greeted with this… not greeted by an omnipotent, monumental, bearded being overlooking towards you and saying: ‘alright the jig is up you’ve found me… the meaning of life is…’ as he folds his newspaper up while getting off the cosmic loo. WRONG, what greets your eyes is the vast void of space with islands of matter like stars and stellar debris dotted about as a glaring minority in the metropolis of nothingness. The things you see out there in space are carrying out their duty in obeying the laws

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La Mettrie’s Anti-Seneca

La Mettrie’s Anti-Seneca

    Intro The philosopher physician returns and this time he brings his own ethics on happiness. However, his ethics sharply contrasts with that of the stoics putting forward hedonism over virtue (but not over the pleasure derived from collecting new knowledge it must be said). First published in 1748, while shacking up at Fredrick’s court, Anti-Seneca had gone through many revisions, rewritten many times by La Mettrie for the purpose of perfecting his morality drawn from his own interpretation of materialism. As is typical with our darling philosopher physician, contention, controversy and condemnation trails not far behind him with

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Philosophers throughout the ages

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