On Old Age by Cicero – fourth objection, It is not far from death.

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On Old Age by Cicero – fourth objection, It is not far from death.

On Old Age by Cicero – fourth objection, It is not far from death.

  We come to the last conclusion of this series, the fourth objection: “We must finally consider the fourth objection to growing old – an objection that seems especially calculated to cause worry and distress to a man of my years. I speak of the nearness of death” I will draw upon the philosophy of later stoicism which are relevant to this subject and more updated. This also touches upon whether there’s an afterlife of not, which as I usually do throughout the work, I’ll give my own evaluation.   Death is not to be feared From Cato’s point of

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On Old Age by Cicero – Third objection, It deprives us of almost all sensual pleasures.

On Old Age by Cicero – Third objection, It deprives us of almost all sensual pleasures.

  Moving on from the last topic, Cato continues on his defence of old age; he gladly proclaims: “We come now to the third objection to growing older – that the pleasures of the flesh fade away. But if this is true, I say it is indeed a glorious gift that age frees us from youth’s most destructive failings” Bearing in mind that this work is not exclusively for old people but also for the youth who may grow to old age. The main themes of this objection are addressed by each sub-heading.   Where desire rules, there is no

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On Old Age by Cicero – Second objection, it weakens the body.

On Old Age by Cicero – Second objection, it weakens the body.

    Cato continues his pep talk on why old age should not be looked upon as a burden: “I no longer wish for the strength of youth – that was the second objection to growing older we listed – any more than when I was a young man I desired the strength of a bull or an elephant.” Cato’s declaration here is one of non attachment and equanimity he does not grasp at the loss of his youthful strength. Instead Cato recommended that we be utilitarians in whatever stage we are in the aging process. Moreover, Cato’s indifference to infirmity

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On Old Age by Cicero – First objection, It takes us away from an active life.

On Old Age by Cicero – First objection, It takes us away from an active life.

    In the first objection against old age, Cato fights against the claim of old age as a period in our lives where things slow down and stagnate and argues there are alternative activities that are just as dignified if not even more. “What kind of activities are we talking about? Don’t we mean the sort we engage in when young and strong? But surely there are activities suitable for older minds even when the body is weakened.” Cato gives examples of a handful of famous elderly Romans such as Gaius Fabricius Luscinus, Manius Curius Dentatus and Tiberius Coruncanius. Who

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On Old Age by Cicero – Intro, Preliminary Discourses & Minor Arguments

On Old Age by Cicero – Intro, Preliminary Discourses & Minor Arguments

Bust of Cato the Elder   Introduction Based on its mention in three letters to Atticus, Cicero’s friend, the earliest of which was written on 12th of May, 44 BC, it is assumed that this work was composed in April of that year. In this work, Cato Maior De Senectute (Cato the Elder on Old Age), commonly known as On Old Age. Cicero chooses, as his mouthpiece and principal speaker for this fictional dialogue, Marcus Porcius Cato (Cato the Elder), famous for signing off after every speech, no matter how trivial, with the phrase “Carthago delenda est” or “Carthage must be destroyed!”

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Stoic Paradoxes – Paradox 6 That the wise man alone is rich

Stoic Paradoxes – Paradox 6 That the wise man alone is rich

  We finally arrive at the last paradox; Paradox VI. That the wise man alone is rich. Cicero gives us his definition, revealed later, on what makes us rich and it’s not the common definition; this is why it has the making of a paradox! I will use the word affluent to describe wealthy in material possessions and money instead of rich to avoid confusion. This is addressed either to Marcus Brutus or Marcus Licinius Crassus (being the most affluent man in Rome) I’m assuming the former is being addressed because Crassus was already dead at the time of this

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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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