Cicero’s Adaptation of Stoic Psychotherapy

Harald Thorsrud
Agnes Scott College
In this paper I explore some ways in which Cicero does not merely report Chrysippus’ view of psychotherapy and mental health in the Tusculan Disputations, but rather adapts them to suit his own Academic and practical purposes. In particular, I argue Cicero is unwilling to wholeheartedly endorse three key Stoic principles: (1) the uniformly rational nature of the mind, (2) the exclusive goodness of virtue, and (3) the possibility of attaining Stoic wisdom. As a result, he allows for greater ethical significance to the removal of psychological disturbances and to the admittedly vulnerable tranquility and constancy achievable by those who fall short of Stoic wisdom.
Keywords Cicero  Stoicism  emotion  Tusculan Disputations
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The Emotional Life of the Wise.John M. Cooper - 2005 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 43 (S1):176-218.

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