Review: Thoughts on Machiavelli or LaoTzu
Introduce Essay #3: Justice: Due Nov 15
Discussion: Marcus Tullius Cicero "The
Defense of Injustice"
Questions for Critical Reading
Suggestions for Reading: Thoreau
STAND IF YOU
ARE NOT IN A
change at least
half of your
You may never
have a new
50% of any
Do you agree with Machiavelli’s thesis that stability
and power are the only qualities that matter in the
evaluation of governments? If not, what else
Can we have Lao-Tzu’s peace, even though there is
ambition, materialism, war, and famine on earth?
How is it possible?
ESSAY #3: JUSTICE
Essay #3 will be in response to either the excerpt
from Cicero, Thoreau, or both.
Choose your topic from "Suggestions for
Writing" on pages 129-30, prompts 1-9 or on
pages 157-58 prompts 1-6. The prompts are also
listed on the website.
It should be a least two pages long but not longer than
three pages (excluding a works cited page).
It should be formatted MLA style.
It is due Friday (Nov 15) of next week
MARCUS TULLIUS CICERO: A BRIEF BIOGRAPHY
Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BC) was one of the most
important orators, intellectuals, and philosophers in the Roman
He was highly educated and served as Quaestor (a financial
administrator) in Sicily, Aedile (an official) in Rome, and as
Praetor (Lawyer). He was eventually elected Consul in 63.
In 44, when Caesar was murdered, Cicero championed the
Republic. He tried to win over Octavian, but failed. He also gave
his greatest speech, the Philipics, aimed at Marc Antony.
However, this backfired, as the Second Triumvirate was
formed, and Cicero's name was on the list of enemies. He fled
Rome, but he was captured and executed.
Cicero's oration, philosophy, rhetoric, poetry, and letters create a
vast collection of works that are matched by few in the modern
IN YOUR GROUPS
Discuss the rhetorical strategies
Discuss the “Questions for
Critical Thinking” on page 129.
Find textual support for your
(Between Philus and Laelius)
(What is Justice?)
(perform injustice/not suffer it;
perform and suffer; neither perform
or suffer it)
(Justice to policies of
(Wisdom with Justice)
(virtuous man vs. ruffian)
(perform injustice and not
(by Laelius at the end to
make his point)
WHY DOES LAELIUS CHOOSE PHILUS TO
ARGUE AGAINST JUSTICE?
DOES ARGUING AGAINST A POSITIVE
VALUE HELP OUR UNDERSTANDING OF
THAT VALUE’S IMPORTANCE?
WHAT IS PHILUS’S REPUTATION AND HOW DOES IT
AFFECT HIS ARGUMENT?
HOW DO IDEAS OF
JUSTICE DIFFER IN THE
ON WHICH SIDE OF THIS ARGUMENT IS CICERO HIMSELF?
WHICH OF LAELIUS’S STATEMENTS IN THE FINAL PARAGRAPHS OF THE SELECTION SEEM
WEAKEST TO YOU? WHAT ARE THE STRENGTHS?
1. Why does Cicero state that “the most fortunate choice is
the first, to perform injustice, if you can get away with it”?
• How does Cicero’s choice reflect his character and
belief about justice?
2. Why does Philus reject “the argument that, although
laws vary, good men naturally follow the true, authentic
path of justice, and not merely what is thought to be
just” (Ciciero 13)?
3. When laws vary in each country, how do we know what
is just and what is wrong?
TRUE AND NATURAL JUSTICE AND LAW?
1. What truth does having a devil’s advocate in
the text reveal about the nature of justice?
2. Does the concept of “natural law” belong in
the context of justice within any given society?
If natural law is inseparable from justice then
how necessary are laws that are man made
3. Can there be a “true law”?
1. So what does “true law” mean?
4. What is a universal law?
5. Does true justice exist at all?
1. Has our society evolved and grown to inherit
universal-natural laws over time?
2. If Laelius were alive today, and could see all
that has happened in the thousands of years
since his death, would he still believe there
exists a single and completely correct system
3. How can we reconcile the needs of a peaceful
coexistence with the values of individuals?
• Get into your groups
• Divide up the questions in the
“Critical Reading” section of the
• We will reconvene to discuss
Suggestions for Critical
Read A World of Ideas: Henry David Thoreau
"Civil Disobedience" (133-157)
Post #25 Questions (TBD) for Critical Reading:
Post #26 QHQ Thoreau