Volume 12, Issue 2, 2012
Doubt and Dogmatism in Cicero
In his numerous philosophical writings Cicero mostly adapted contemporary Greek sources, but occasionally he took up certain positions of his own. His propensity to scepticism in epistemology and dogmatism in ethics and political philosophy appears to be a further development of the model set forth by Carneades. Though Cicero was influenced by both Antiochus of Ascalon and Philo of Larissa—both of them claimed the heritage of the Platonic Academy—he owed a life-long allegiance to the Academic tradition of Carneades. Very often we are faced with a poor state of his own argument. But it seems to me very likely that in main questions his position was consistent throughout his life, and I consider his own philosophy as the beginning of the rising Middle Platonism.