Analysis Of Human Injustice In Cicero's 'On Obligations'

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In his 44 BC writing to his son, “On Obligations,” Cicero declares that human beings have a natural inclination toward justice due to their nature. From this, two questions may be formulated; firstly, if humans are naturally inclined toward justice, how does Cicero account for injustice? Secondly, does this injustice contradict human nature? From these initial questions, it would be fair to respond in one way by stating Cicero accounts for injustice through the creation of the polis and this injustice does indeed contradict human nature. In simpler terms, this argument is stating that Cicero believes that what is truly a just human nature, becomes corrupted, and therefore unjust, once applied to the changing roles of humanity and their lives in a polis. On the other hand, a reasonable counter argument can be made which would propose a similar answer, but with a variation of the ultimate reason. Although Cicero testifies that human injustice directly opposes human nature, he asserts that it is bound to happen when human beings bang together and centralize into…show more content…
Before any assertions can be pressed on Cicero’s behalf, it is necessary to gain perspective as to the historical context during the time of his writing. Cicero wrote “On Obligations” in 44 BC and addressed these letters to his son Marcus. Cicero was aware that these letters would be opened and read as they were delivered from Rome to his son in Athens, and as a result he wrote in such a way that would allow for the people of Rome to relate and learn his teachings. Cicero was extremely pro-republic, and wrote “On Obligations” towards the closing of the late Roman Republic period as the transition to a Roman Empire began. His letters are primarily focused on how the Roman citizens can contribute to the betterment of the Republic, and bring to a halt the unjust rising of an
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