By Marcus Tullius Cicero, Margaret R. Graver

The 3rd and fourth books of Cicero's Tusculan Disputations take care of the character and administration of human emotion: first grief, then the feelings as a rule. In a full of life and fascinating type, Cicero provides the insights of Greek philosophers at the topic, reporting the perspectives of Epicureans and Peripatetics and giving a close account of the Stoic place, which he himself favors for its shut reasoning and ethical earnestness. either the expert and the final reader could be desirous about the Stoics' research of the reasons of grief, their class of feelings via genus and species, their lists of oddly named personality flaws, and the philosophical debate that develops over the application of anger in politics and war.

Margaret Graver's based and idiomatic translation makes Cicero's paintings available not only to classicists yet to an individual drawn to historic philosophy or within the philosophy of emotion. The accompanying statement explains the philosophical recommendations mentioned within the textual content and offers many useful parallels from Greek sources.

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Extra info for Cicero on the Emotions: Tusculan Disputations 3 and 4

Example text

Now, according to Epicurus, it is “by nature” that this belief comes to be distress. That is, anyone who directs his attention toward some relatively great evil will immediately be distressed, if he believes it has happened to him. The Cyrenaics, for their part, claim that distress is not produced by every misfortune, but only by a misfortune which was not foreseen and anticipated. And it is true that unexpectedness makes our distress considerably worse, for everything seems more serious when it happens suddenly.

For the most part, however, he has been more than successful in shaping his material into graceful and coherent treatises. His stated intention is to express the ethical thought of xxx  Greece in a way his contemporaries will find compelling, and it is clear that he has made a strenuous effort to do so. The works are spattered with human-interest stories, bits of verse, and an occasional excursus into etymology, a subject Roman intellectuals seem to have found fascinating. Whatever his private feelings may have been, his public presentation was to show him calmly but earnestly engaged in a study which might well appeal to any intelligent person.

And also of the handbook Platonist Alcinous, whose dates are uncertain. But Cicero’s earlier contemporary Posidonius of Rhodes may also have put forward a part-based account. Some of the relevant texts and bibliography for Posidonius’s position may be found in Appendix D. . e–d.  is labeled by him “Platonic,” even though it does not proceed in what would appear to us to be Plato’s direction. See further comm. –), section . . ). –, to which my own summary account is much indebted.

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