The Romans, in contrast to the Greeks, are generally practical and endeavor collectively to lay stress on the persuasive art of rhetoric—at least, until the fading of the Republic. Curiously, they have also exhibited conflicting attitudes toward how to better position rhetoric in relation to philosophy. That is, there persists a sense of anxiety over securing a rhetorical identity even to the day of Quintilian, who still has to figure out how rhetoric can be related to philosophy properly in his Institutio Oratoria—with self-contradictory assertions, though. In reality, increasing attention has been devoted to philosophical studies as the Romans turn to the Empire: they come to realize the need of cultivation by dint of philosophy. This paper then sets out to examine Cicero’s Tusculan Disputations and Boethius’ The Consolation of Philosophy to investigate the role of philosophy in the Roman context. In particular, this paper will analyze whether dialectic proper has been well applied in these two texts since both authors defer to Platonic philosophy, which is predominantly informed by dialectic argumentation. It is found that, although they both hold Plato in high esteem, Cicero’s and Boethius’ dialectical practice remains nominal, in turn undermining their attempts to extol philosophy.
KEY WORDS: dialectic, philosophy, rhetoric, Tusculan Disputations, The Consolation of Philosophy
與希臘人相比，羅馬人——至少在共合時期勢微之 前——普遍來說較為務實且致力於修辭(作為說服術)的 推廣。有趣的是，他們對於修辭之於哲學的定位卻也顯 現出矛盾的態度。亦即，當中總是存在著對於修辭身分 的焦慮感；縱使是坤體良，他在《辯才之養成》中對於修 辭與哲學的說法仍多所相互牴觸。實際上，當羅馬人轉 向帝國時期，哲學研究已受到愈多的關注：他們終而體 認到透過哲學達成教化的需求。這篇論文即在此脈絡下 檢視西賽羅《圖斯庫蘭的爭論》及波其武《哲學的慰藉》 中哲學的角色。尤其是分析這兩位作者是否適當地應用 了他們所推崇的柏拉圖哲學引以為特色的辯證式論理。 本文發現，雖然西賽羅及波其武敬重柏拉圖，他們之再 現辯證僅為名義上的，進而損害其對哲學的頌揚。