Lecture 8, Part 2 – Roman Philosophy of Crime

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Western University
Classical Studies
Classical Studies 2301A/B
Randall Pogorzelski

Lecture 8 Part 2Roman Philosophy of Law Quotes from the Laws o Yet we are confused by the variety and incompatibility of mens opinions and because the same disagreement does not occur in regard to the senses we think the senses are reliable by nature whereas we brand as illusory those ideas that vary from one person to another and do not always remain consistent within the same person This distinction is far from the truth In the case of our senses no parent or nurse or teacher or poet or stageshow distorts them nor does popular opinion lead them astray For our minds however all kinds of traps are laid either by the people just mentioned who on receiving young untrained minds stain them and twist them as they please or else by that power which lurks within entwined with every one of our senses namely pleasure which masquerades as goodness but is in fact the mother of all ills 113114Cicero confronting the idea that different people have different idea of what crime and justice areBecause people have different ideas of what crime law and justice are suggests there is no universal thing that is law justice crime etcContrasts crime with reality we perceive with our sensesDo not perceive crime with our senses since we perceive nature with our senses makes it more realThings we perceive with reason can be affected by location time popular culture etc can affect the way we see crime justice etc makes it seem like a nonuniversal thingPleasure connected to epicurean philosophy nothing apart from the physical worldStoic real world and ideas are equally realPleasure distorts our idea of justiceSimilar to Lysias IViolate justice because of pleasure law should direct our actions o MARCUS I note then that according to the opinion of the best authorities law was not thought up by the intelligence of human beings nor is it some kind of resolution passed by communities but rather an eternal force which rules the world by the wisdom of its commands and prohibitions In their judgment that original and final law is the intelligence of God who ordains or forbids everything by reason Hence that law which the gods have given to the human race is rightly praised for it represents the reason and intelligence of a wise man directed to issuing commands and prohibitions 124Explicitly comparing law passed by community and reason reason is the bestonly lawsReligioussocial constructionist view of crime o Even though it was nowhere laid down that one man should stand on the bridge against the whole of the enemys army and should order the bridge to
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