All Academic, Inc. Research Logo

Info/CitationFAQResearchAll Academic Inc.
Document

Keeping up Appearances: Shame and Oratory in Cicero's Thought
Unformatted Document Text:  individuals” due to “differences in men’s spirits.” 62 It is from the prior – our share in reason and surpassing other animals – that general seemliness derives. Yet our individual characteristics matter a good deal, for Cicero: the variety of different spirits may be as great as the variety of different bodies, and Cicero gives a number of examples to illustrate his claim. For instance, some “think that nothing should be done through secrecy or trickery;” these “cultivate the truth and they are hostile to deceit.” However, there are also those who, like Sulla, “would endure anything you like, devote themselves to anyone you like, provided they acquire what they want.” Given the difference in individual constitutions, we should retain what is ours “as far as it is not vicious, but peculiar to [us], so that the seemliness that we are seeking might more easily be maintained.” While we should do nothing opposed to human nature writ large, we should follow “our own nature,” adding that “it is appropriate neither to fight against nature nor to pursue anything that you cannot attain.” Given this emphasis on harmony, nothing is as seemly as “an evenness both of one’s whole life and of one’s individual actions,” an evenness quite difficult to attain if we “copy someone else’s nature.” 63 Ethical decorum, as opposed to rhetorical decorum, which stresses flexibility and adaptation, seems very much a matter of constancy in spirit and action. Yet in illustrating this claim, Cicero refers to speaking: “we ought to use the language that is familiar to us so that we do not draw well justified ridicule upon ourselves.” 64 Just as we should use language familiar to ourselves, Cicero argues in a 62 Cicero, On Duties. I.107. 63 Ibid. I.109-111. 64 Ibid. 111. 21

Authors: Kapust, Daniel.
first   previous   Page 21 of 34   next   last



background image
individuals” due to “differences in men’s spirits.”
It is from the prior – our share in
reason and surpassing other animals – that general seemliness derives.
Yet our individual characteristics matter a good deal, for Cicero: the variety of
different spirits may be as great as the variety of different bodies, and Cicero gives a
number of examples to illustrate his claim. For instance, some “think that nothing should
be done through secrecy or trickery;” these “cultivate the truth and they are hostile to
deceit.” However, there are also those who, like Sulla, “would endure anything you like,
devote themselves to anyone you like, provided they acquire what they want.” Given the
difference in individual constitutions, we should retain what is ours “as far as it is not
vicious, but peculiar to [us], so that the seemliness that we are seeking might more easily
be maintained.” While we should do nothing opposed to human nature writ large, we
should follow “our own nature,” adding that “it is appropriate neither to fight against
nature nor to pursue anything that you cannot attain.” Given this emphasis on harmony,
nothing is as seemly as “an evenness both of one’s whole life and of one’s individual
actions,” an evenness quite difficult to attain if we “copy someone else’s nature.”
Ethical decorum, as opposed to rhetorical decorum, which stresses flexibility and
adaptation, seems very much a matter of constancy in spirit and action.
Yet in illustrating this claim, Cicero refers to speaking: “we ought to use the
language that is familiar to us so that we do not draw well justified ridicule upon
ourselves.”
Just as we should use language familiar to ourselves, Cicero argues in a
62
Cicero, On Duties. I.107.
63
Ibid. I.109-111.
64
Ibid. 111.
21


Convention
Need a solution for abstract management? All Academic can help! Contact us today to find out how our system can help your annual meeting.
Submission - Custom fields, multiple submission types, tracks, audio visual, multiple upload formats, automatic conversion to pdf.
Review - Peer Review, Bulk reviewer assignment, bulk emails, ranking, z-score statistics, and multiple worksheets!
Reports - Many standard and custom reports generated while you wait. Print programs with participant indexes, event grids, and more!
Scheduling - Flexible and convenient grid scheduling within rooms and buildings. Conflict checking and advanced filtering.
Communication - Bulk email tools to help your administrators send reminders and responses. Use form letters, a message center, and much more!
Management - Search tools, duplicate people management, editing tools, submission transfers, many tools to manage a variety of conference management headaches!
Click here for more information.

first   previous   Page 21 of 34   next   last

©2012 All Academic, Inc.