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Cicero's Rhetorical Political Philosophy

Posted on:2006-09-28Degree:DoctorType:Dissertation
Country:ChinaCandidate:Y H YuFull Text:PDF
GTID:1116360215451181Subject:Foreign philosophy
Abstract/Summary:PDF Full Text Request
According to the essence of Cicero's political philosophy, I try to study it from rhetorical view. As an enthusiast of Greek philosophy, Cicero connected politics with philosophy just like Plato and Aristotle did, and formed his own political philosophy; but as a practical politician of Roman, Cicero didn't want to construct his political philosophy in the way of his Greek predecessors. Comparing with his Greek predecessors, Cicero came back to the politics more; tried to combine political practice with philosophical theory in the view of politics. In Cicero's opinion, the abstractness of Greek political philosophy rooted in its denial of political implication of rhetoric and ability of language. In this theory, political reality was utterly deprived. Therefore, only when we connected rhetoric with the political philosophy, and united rhetoric, philosophy and politics, the political philosophy that can guide the political practice could be set up.The classical rhetoric is an art of using language, which boomed in Greek democratic politics. If we don't just regard it as a persuasive technology, as the simple subordinate, but revert it to it's original meaning: the ability of language, we can find the intrinsical relationship between the classical rhetoric and the classical political life. The persuasion of rhetoric comes from language, and language itself is persuasion. This persuasive language relates to comprehension and communication of people opinion, and implicates human community life style. Greek say human is lingual animal in essence; it is say human is political animal in essence. Greek philosophy objects to rhetoric, not just objects to the sophism rhetoric, it objects to all kind of persuasive rhetoric. In a word, Greek philosophy objects to Greek traditional language and politics. The contradiction between Greek philosophy and rhetoric, is the contradiction between truth and opinion, is the contradiction between philosophy and politics, is the contradiction between the individual learning reason and the political reason. The result of Greek political philosopher understanding politics in the philosophy view is that philosophical politics deny realistic politics and individual intelligent virtue replaces citizen's political virtue.Therefore, Cicero tried to unite rhetoric, philosophy and politics. In the one hand, Cicero understood human and politics in the rhetoric way, and reverted the understanding of human to politics; in the other hand, Cicero transformed philosophy with rhetoric, conversed the learning philosophy to the practice philosophy. In order to construct this political philosophy, Cicero found theoretical resource in the Academic skepticism. Firstly, Academic skeptics emphasize the impossible of grasping absolute truth, and say no to the philosophical pure pursuit of truth; secondly, for Academic skeptics, the purpose of philosophy is to grasp the possibility truth, and regard it as the guide of human practice life. The possibility truth of Academic skepticism combines philosophical elenchus and rhetorical presentation in methodology, combines philosophy with human political practice in the theoretical end.From this view, Cicero's political philosophy difference from Greek political philosophy. There are three main viewpoints of Cicero's political philosophy that we can sum up: (1) Cicero indicated a standpoint of political ontology definitely, which emphasize that human nature is political animal, which require philosophy to serve politics on the priority of ontology; (2) Cicero differentiated natural virtue republic which contains all the people from realistic conventional republic which was formed by some part of people. Through this differentiation, Cicero linked physis to nomos under the basis of universality and particularity: physis that is the precondition of nomos incarnated itself by nomos; (3) In the differentiation of natural virtue republic and realistic conventional republic, Cicero illustrated that property is the fundamental element of the realistic conventional republic. In this emphasis, Cicero stressed private property, and the importance of the conventional republic for its protection; as well as stressed citizens' sovereignty to the conventional republic that is the common property of all citizens.
Keywords/Search Tags:rhetoric, political philosophy, possibility truth, humanistic politics, conventional politics, liberal politics
PDF Full Text Request
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