Published online by Cambridge University Press: 24 November 2022
In this chapter, I examine how voluntas helps the young lawyer Cicero craft arguments and structure relationships with Roman clients, witnesses, and juries. In the De inventione and forensic speeches, we see his struggle to reconcile tradition with new intellectual tools. As he seeks to bring ratio more fully into Roman legal culture, voluntas plays a plural and ambiguous role. It is an instrument of rational inquiry, as in the competing schemata of criminal responsibility he examines in the De inventione. As it has always been in Roman law, voluntas is the desire of a legally relevant individual, emanating from and attributable to him alone – the marker of his agency and responsibility. So, too, however, is it used to signify the collective goodwill of an audience, which Cicero makes clear is the expert orator’s plaything. The “goodwill” sense of voluntas adds greatly to its durability in moral philosophy. While a sententia or iudicium pertain to a specific question, voluntas marks an ongoing choice or disposition, such as the will of a legislator, to be conserved. Cicero’s objectives for the law go largely unachieved in his time, but they expand Rome’s intellectual field of vision.
To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure firstname.lastname@example.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.
Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.
To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.
To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.