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Recovering Political Philosophy

Cicero’s Skepticism and His Recovery of Political Philosophy

Authors: Nicgorski, Walter

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About this book

This book explores Cicero’s moral and political philosophy with great attention to his life and thought as a whole. The author “thinks through” Cicero with a close reading of his most important philosophical writings.  Nicgorski often resolves apparent tensions in Cicero’s thought that have posed obstacles to the appreciation of his practical philosophy.  Some of the major tensions confronted are those between his Academic skepticism and apparent Stoicism, between his commitment to philosophy and to politics, rhetoric and oratory, and between his attachment to Greek philosophy and his profound engagement in Roman culture.  Moreover, the key theme within Cicero’s writings is his intended recovery, within his Roman context, of both the Socratic focus on great questions of practical philosophy and Socratic skepticism.  Cicero’s recovery of Socratic political philosophy in Roman garb is then the basis for recovery of Cicero as a notable political thinker relevant to our time and its problems.

About the authors

Walter Nicgorski is Professor Emeritus at the University of Notre Dame, USA.  He is editor of and contributor to Cicero’s Practical Philosophy (2012), co-editor and contributor to Leo Strauss: Political Philosopher and Jewish Thinker (1994) and An Almost Chosen People: The Moral Aspirations of Americans (1977).   Key topics of his published essays are Cicero, liberal and character education, American political foundations, Leo Strauss, Allan Bloom, and Yves Simon.

Reviews

“Nicgorski’s book is remarkable, engaging the most difficult features of Cicero’s thought and yielding a loving and careful portrait of its unity. … it is no exaggeration to say that Nicgorski, as both teacher and scholar, has played a key role in the resurgence of interest in Cicero’s thought.” (Daniel J. Kapust, Contemporary Political Theory, Vol. 17 (03), August, 2018)

“Nicgorski has doubtless done something both impressive and praiseworthy in this mature, balanced, and heartfelt book: without recourse to the tired trope of ‘Cicero’s changing views’ (49-50n57), and with admirable interpretive eclecticism combined with wide-ranging erudition … .” (William H.F. Altman, Ancient Philosophy, Vol. 38 (01), 2018)

​“Nicgorski makes a convincing case that Cicero does not rank the theoretical way of life over the practical way of life. … For Nicgorski to establish that conclusion in such rich detail—covering the entirety of Cicero’s philosophy, not falling victim to historicism or relativism, not devoting unnecessary effort to tracing Cicero’s sources, displaying an encyclopedic command of secondary material—is a great achievement.” (David Fott, Interpretation – A Journal of Political Philosophy, Vol. 43 (3), 2017)

“It is unsurprising that this book promises to make a major contribution to the field of Ciceronian studies because Nicgorski is significantly responsible for the existence of the field through his earlier work. In other words, the field would not exist without the willingness to treat Cicero as a serious thinker, and Nicgorski has shown historicist scholars the error of their ways.”  (David Fott, Professor of Political Science, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, USA)

“It is not easy to reconcile Cicero's professed Socratic and Academic skepticism with his moral and political self-assurance. But that is exactly what Walter Nicgorski does in this subtle, probing, and balanced book. The discussions of the literature in the extensive notes are true gems of scholarship. This will be the definitive treatment of the issue for some time to come.”  (John Christian Laursen, Professor of Political Science, University of California, Riverside, USA)

Table of contents (6 chapters)

Table of contents (6 chapters)
  • Introduction

    Pages 1-13

    Nicgorski, Walter

  • Chapter 1 Skepticism, Politics, and a Philosophical Foundation

    Pages 15-58

    Nicgorski, Walter

  • Chapter 2 The Critical and Rhetorical Modes of Philosophy

    Pages 59-96

    Nicgorski, Walter

  • Chapter 3 Duties and Virtue

    Pages 97-153

    Nicgorski, Walter

  • Chapter 4 Political Philosophy and the Roman Republic

    Pages 155-203

    Nicgorski, Walter

Buy this book

eBook $19.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-137-58413-7
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Softcover $29.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-349-95437-7
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Immediate ebook access, if available*, with your print order
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.

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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Cicero’s Skepticism and His Recovery of Political Philosophy
Authors
Series Title
Recovering Political Philosophy
Copyright
2016
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan US
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-1-137-58413-7
DOI
10.1057/978-1-137-58413-7
Softcover ISBN
978-1-349-95437-7
Series ISSN
2524-7166
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XVIII, 283
Topics

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