Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Is philosophy useful ? by Cicero

Is philosophy useful?
From Cicero's Tusculan Disputations

A.If what you say is true, is there not fear that you may be decking philosophy with a glory that does not belong to it? For what stronger proof can there be of its uselessness than that some accomplished philosophers lead disgraceful lives ?

M. It is no proof at all; for as all cultivated fields are not harvest-yielding,so all cultivated minds do not bear fruit. To continue the figure: as a field, though fertile, cannot yield a harvest without cultivation, no more can the mind without learning; thus each is feeble without the other. But philosophy is the culture of the soul. It draws out vices by the root, prepares the mind to receive seed, and commits to it, and, so to speak, sows in it what, when grown, may bear the most abundant fruit.

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