3.05.2009

In Which Kanga Decides She Really Must Read Some Cicero

There's an idea--a set of categories, really--floating about the intellectual waters hereabouts. I think it comes from Cicero, but I am sadly unaware as to which work. My exposure to Cicero is limited to De Amicitia, and involves quite possibly the most romantic attempted breakup story ever... but that's another tale for another time.

Now, where was I? Ah, yes. Epistemology.

Somebody once said, (and I think it was Cicero, but I'm not sure where) that there are four ways of knowing. Or perhaps it was of convincing; I think it matters not. At any rate, they are as follows: Logos (having to do, predictably enough, with logic), ethos (having to do with authority of character), and pathos (having to do with emotion and aesthetics.) The obligation to believe is produced through the union of these three elements.

I'm quite sure that I'm not doing these ideas justice at all, and I'm equally certain that they are of Extreme and Great Importance.

So I need to read some Cicero. And if anyone has any suggestions as to which particular works I need to read, I'd be quite grateful.

In the mean time, I'm finding that these categories have all sorts of uses in organizing the cluttered closets of one's mind.

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