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Read The Corn Sale Dilemma (Cicero, On Duties 3.50 57). How Can This Scenario Help To Understand The Ancient Arguments For Treating Other People Gener

1472 words - 6 pages

passage refers to (51). The Cynics altogether denounce the need for money. Their slogan “deface of the currency” is not in the literal sense of destroying coins but showing society how dependence on money was not in line with nature. Money was of no importance for the Cynics, so the Corn-Sale dilemma would not have been a dilemma for them.10 It is likely that they would simply have given the corn away as they saw it everyone’s entitlement to the produce of nature. It has been suggested that the Cynics produced philosophy that the proletariat could relate to,11 they had engaged in a war against wealth. Diogenes war against the wealthy resulted in him spitting in the faces of the rich.12 The Cynics have been affiliated with the image of casting money into the sea,13 this image is a true representation of the hedonistic Cynic. Therefore the Cynics lack of respect for the rich reinforces the view that they may have given the corn away as they had no value for money. (The later Cynics, however, became seen as opportunists and beggars, Dio Chrysostom berates the Cynics of Alexandria as they are not providing philosophy but extorting the public to meet their own needs.14) The Cynics were also known for their bold and provocative wit,15 as if teasing and annoying the audience in order to take the point to the extreme. It is feasible that in the Corn- Sale dilemma the Cynic would decide to give the grain to the Rhodians gratis – the only price they would have to pay would be to listen to the Cynic’s brazen jokes about their livelihood, for example.
Epicurus was also a Greek philosopher and was born in 341 BC and taught right up to his death in 271 BC. He was a prolific writer, but most of his 300 pieces are lost; the majority of the sources that we have are secondary and therefore sometimes critical and biased. The Epicurean philosophy is focused around achieving pleasure which consists in absence of pain and the maintenance of ataraxia meaning very choice affected by it. The central goal of ataraxia relies on the body to seek pleasure which is the avoidance of pain, a terror or upset would directly destroy the state of tranquillity as it is not a pleasure.16 Epicurus maintains that it is within everyone’s agency to make decisions, just or unjust, those who still chose to
10 Indeed, it is impossible to imagine a merchant who is also a Cynic! For the sake of rescuing the hypothetical scenario of the Dilemma, we can perhaps think that the merchant has converted to Cynicism after coming to Rhodes. 11 Rowe and Schofield, 2000, pg 430.
12 Diogenes Laertius, 6.103. 13 Desmond, 2006, 102. 14 D.Chr. 32 15 Sluiter
16 Diogenes Laertius, 10.128.
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behaviour unaccordingly are not without agency they just chose to do what is bad.17 The Epicureans rejected the polis as an institution and believed a tranquil life would be easier obtained from everyday life of other citizens. However, Epicurus believes that justice is necessary for “selfish” reasons. In other...

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