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Cicero: On Fate& Boethius: The Consolation of Philosophy IV.5-7 and V$
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Print publication date: 1992

Print ISBN-13: 9780856684760

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9780856684760.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
On Fate: Cicero
R. W. Sharples
Liverpool University Press

This chapter focuses on Cicero's treatise titled On Fate (De fato), which is part of the second group of his philosophical writings that dates from the period of Julius Caesar's ascendancy at the end of the Civil War and the period immediately after his assassination. It explains how De fato considers the relation of the gods to human affairs and problems that arise therefrom. It also discusses the natural connection between different occurrences that the Stoics spoke of as “sympathy” that may have some influence on human behaviour but not remove the freedom of action altogether. The chapter describes how Cicero is characteristically scornful of the arguments by Stoics and favors the view of Carneades that free will could be defended against the Stoics. It talks about the freedom of the will in antiquity that can be divided into areas concerned with physical causation and questions of logic.

Keywords:   Cicero, On Fate, De fato, Julius Caesar, human affairs, Stoics

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