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Article

Marcus Tullius Cicero’s ecophilosophy of education: education in the city and for the city

Dialog so Vremenem. 2020. No. 72. P. 346-358.
Pichugina V., Volkova Y.

In the writings of the Ancient Roman philosopher, politician and orator Mark Tullius Cicero, the necessity to relate the nature of statehood, the nature of man, the nature of law, and the nature of society becomes a pedagogical principle, on the basis of which the philosophy of education should be built. Cicero advances an original concept of education as an institution which protects both the state and the person. Thus, he actually forms the area that we now call the ecophilosophy of education. Cicero is close to Socrates’ pedagogy with its need to take care of the self through education in the city, which lives an active political life and represents a small-scale copy of the world. Reasoning upon this in On the Nature of the Gods and the Tusculan disputations, Cicero outlines two strategies of educational care of the self: for those who are directly involved in the political life of Rome, and for those who have deliberately retreated from the city and preferred scholarly leisure to politics. Praising Socrates for making philosophy useful for the city, Cicero is eager to do the same with the philosophy of education. His initial message is that a person is not born with full knowledge of his surrounding and inner nature; he is only able to acquire this knowledge through education. Cicero’s legacy is an experience of an ecophilosophical interpretation of modern education, which he views simultaneously as a necessity, a need and a duty to carefully create himself through others.