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172 LETTERS IN CANADA 1998 Brad Inwood and Jaap Mansfeld, editors. Assent and Argument: Studies in Cicero's Academic Books Brill 1997. xii, 326. us $125.00 Though Cicero identified himself as an Academic Sceptic, it is only in the Academici libri that he addresses the issues that underlie that position. The importance of this text for students of Cicero the philosopher can thus hardly be overstated. But because of the difficult subject matter (epistemology ) and since a cruel trick of fate has left us with book 1 of the second edition and book 2 (= Lucullus) of the first, the work has tended to be neglected. Now, however, it is beginning to attract the attention it deserves, both from the philosophers (as here) and philologists (see T.}. Hunt, A Textual History of Cicero's Academicus Primus). Our volume, carefully edited and handsomely produced, consists of ten papers presented at the Seventh Symposium Hellenisticum held in August 1995. Available space forces me to be brief and selective. Three different versions ofAcademicilibri had already been distinguished by J.S. Reid in his 1885 commentary. In the first chapter of our volume M. Griffin teases out of Cicero's letters a good many indications about the wholly lost intermediary version. In our major source, Ad Atticum 13.16.1, Cicero speaks oftransferring'thosesamespeeches' (sc ofCatulus, Lucullus, and Hortensius) to Cato and Brutus, and this change was evidentlyeffected in Arpinum on 21-2 June 45 Be. How three speakers were reduced to two is not altogether clear, but I am a bit sceptical of any great amotmt of rewriting or recastingbeing undertaken at this stage (cfGriffin's suggestions, put forward with some diffidence) and thus still find the reconstruction proposed by Reid the most convincing. Griffin has, however, provided a very helpul collection of testimonia for composition ofAcademici libri as well as an appendiX sorting out once and for all (against Reid) the correct title of the first and last versions (that of the intermediary one must remain moot). Cicero himself scored for excessive curiosity those who inquired into his personal views on this or that question (De Natura Deorum 1.10). Nonetheless that is precisely the goal of W. Gorler's paper - to determine Cicero's philosophical stance in Lucullus. If Cicero once put himself forward (with tongue in cheek) as a mediator of the scholastic quarrel over the summum bonum (De Legibus 1.53) and tried unsuccessfully to mediatebetween Caesar and Pompey prior to the civil war, he takes, on GorIer's showing, a similar position in epistemology, as he tries to smooth over differences and confesses - for all his adherence to scepticism - a fondness for 'opining' (Lucullus 66). Gorier's enterprise is, however, hazardous, as heis aware: one wonders whether a personal form of expression may sometimes mask a representation of the views of Philo. Perhaps the chief interest of Academici libri for students ofthe history of philosophy is the light it sheds on the quarrel within the Academy between HUMANITIES 173 Philo and Antiochus - the former, down to the time of his Roman Books, a sceptic, the latter tending towards dogmatism. T. Dorandi, R.J. Hankinson, and G. Striker explore this from different angles, with Striker, for instance, seeking to elicit from the Antiochean arguments of Lucullus the reasoning behind Philo's altered stance. Academici libri comes out ofa tradition ofphilosophical arguments about knowledge that were already well rehearsed by the time of its composition. For this reason and because of the loss of so much of the text many of the arguments are elusive. M. Bumyeat however, fleshes them out with admirable patience and skill. There are also worthwhile papers by K.A. Algra on Cicero's use of the ethicaldivisiones in Academicilibri,J. Barnes on logical problems in the work, and J. Allen on the representation of Carneadean argu,nent here. I am not sure, however, that J. Glucker's paper 'Socrates in the Academic Books and Other Ciceronian Works' really belongs in this volume: it takes up a problem for which Academici libri provides some material but not one that is important to understanding that work and its contribution in the same sense as the others. (ANDREW...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 172-173
Launched on MUSE
2014-07-02
Open Access
No
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