A Philosophical commentary on Cicero, academica priora II 1-62.
In confining this Commentary to the first 62 sections of the Lucullus my intention has been to make a special study of Antiochus' case against the Academic sceptics. Although this is the only full-length counter-argument against Academic scepticism which we possess (despite the many works written by both aides in a controversy spanning more than two centuries), due attention has not been paid to it. Scholars have tended to use Cicero's work as a source-book for Antiochus' general philosophical views or to confine their attention to the sceptic case. Even if consideration has been given to the dogmatic case as well (as by Stough, Greek Skepticism), there has been a certain bias in favour of the Academic sceptics. This is possibly due to the fact that the scepticism of the Academy has in itself a strong appeal and that it has the final word in Cicero's work. But I do not think that Lucullus' arguments, whatever their shortcomings, are weaker by comparison. The Lucullus is, not only an extremely important philosophical text, it is also one of the most difficult. Reid's Commentary is very valuable but his interest was more literary and general than strictly philosophical. My own Commentary is concerned solely with the philosophical content of the dialogue and takes account of relevant work on Hellenistic philosophy since Reid's edition appeared at the end of the last century, I have tried to place the arguments and philosophical issues in their ancient context, either, by means of plausible inferences where direct evidence is lacking or by reference to classical texts. I am aware that the problem of knowledge is still an issue today and I have made use of some modern works on the subject, in elucidating particular arguments, but, in general, I have limited references to modern philosophy to a minimum in order not to impede understanding of Cicero's text and not to widen excessively the scope of the Commentary. The text used is that of Plasborg (Teubner, Leipzig, 1922).
- Theses