Cicero and his Clamorous Silences: was he Fair Enough with the Epicure-ans and their Ethical and Political Views?

  • Javier Aoiz, JA Santiago de Chile University
  • Marcelo D. Boeri, MDB Pontifical Catholic University of Chile

Abstract

If our knowledge of Epicurean philosophy depended exclusively upon the information conveyed by their adversaries, we would be practically unaware of the political component of the Epicurean study of nature (φυσιολογία), and of the political considerations that grounded the Epicurean way of life. This paper shows how Cicero omits some elements of Epicureanism that are crucial to understanding how political reflection was integrated into Epicurean philosophy. We argue that Cicero consciously omits important details of Epicurean arguments regarding ethics and politics and includes some silences that can be described as «clamorous». By bypassing the crucial interconnection between political theory and the Epicurean study of nature, Cicero includes passing reference to Epicurean contractualism and he does not set out the Epicurean theoretical framework in which it was originally inscribed.

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Author Biographies

Javier Aoiz, JA, Santiago de Chile University

Javier Aoiz (francisco.aoiz@usach.cl) is a Full Professor in the Department of Philosophy at Santiago de Chile University. He has been Full Professor at Universidad Simón Bolívar (Venezuela), before moving to Chile. In 2006 he was awarded the Federico Ríu National Award for Philosophical Research (Venezuela). He is a founding member of the Venezuelan Society of Phenomenology, the Latin American Association of Ancient Philosophy, and the Group of Philosophical Research University of Salamanca-University Simón Bolívar. Aoiz’s main interests are centered on epistemology, ethics and moral psychology, and political philosophy in Aristotle, Plato, Stoicism, and Epicureanism.

Marcelo D. Boeri, MDB, Pontifical Catholic University of Chile

Marcelo D. Boeri (mboeric@uc.cl) is a Full Professor at the Institute of Philosophy at the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile. He has been a Junior Fellow at Harvard’s Center for Hellenic Studies (1999-2000) and a fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation (2009). He served as a co-editor of Méthexis (International Journal for Ancient Philosophy) and as a member of the editorial board of the International Plato Studies series (2007-2015, sponsored by the International Plato Society). His main topics of interest are epistemology, moral psychology, metaphysics, and political philosophy in Aristotle, Plato, Stoicism, and Epicureanism. Currently, Boeri works on the book Theory and Practice in Epicurean Political Philosophy: Security, Justice, and Tranquillity, in co-authorship with Javier Aoiz (recently accepted by Bloomsbury, London, UK, in its collection Bloomsbury Classical Studies Monographs)

Published
2022-06-30
How to Cite
Aoiz, J., & Boeri, M. (2022). Cicero and his Clamorous Silences: was he Fair Enough with the Epicure-ans and their Ethical and Political Views?. Ciceroniana on Line, 6(1), 55-89. https://doi.org/10.13135/2532-5353/6870