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A Written RepublicCicero's Philosophical Politics$
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Yelena Baraz

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691153322

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691153322.001.0001

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On a More Personal Note

On a More Personal Note

Philosophy in the Letters

Chapter:
(p.44) Chapter Two On a More Personal Note
Source:
A Written Republic
Author(s):

Yelena Baraz

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691153322.003.0002

This chapter examines the reasons for Cicero’s project that he sets forth, paratactically, in the prefaces by focusing on the references to philosophy, writing, and intellectual life that are found in his letters. It first considers Cicero’s belief in the ability of philosophy to influence and improve people’s characters and actions—a belief implicit in the politically motivated goals that he cites in the prefaces. It then explores how Cicero constructs the link between philosophy and politics, along with his representation of philosophy, and writing more generally, in relation to the traditional division of elite activities between the spheres of otium and negotium. It also discusses the issue of philosophy as consolation and the notion that Cicero’s grief for Tullia motivated his philosophical writings.

Keywords:   philosophy, intellectual life, letters, Cicero, character, action, politics, otium, negotium, Tullia

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