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[160] This, then, may be regarded as settled: in choosing 1 between conflicting duties, that class takes precedence which is demanded by the interests of human society. [And this is the natural sequence; for discreet action will presuppose learning and practical [p. 165] wisdom; it follows, therefore, that discreet action is of more value than wise (but inactive) speculation.]

So much must suffice for this topic. For, in its essence, it has been made so clear, that in determining a question of duty it is not difficult to see which duty is to be preferred to any other. Moreover, even in the social relations themselves there are gradations of duty so well defined that it can easily be seen which duty takes precedence of any other: our first duty is to the immortal gods; our second, to country; our third, to parents; and so on, in a descending scale, to the rest.

1 Order of precedence of duties.

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load focus Notes (Walter Miller, 1913)
load focus Introduction (Walter Miller, 1913)
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hide References (5 total)
  • Cross-references in indexes to this page (5):
    • M. Tullius Cicero, De Officiis: index, Duty
    • M. Tullius Cicero, De Officiis: index, Justice
    • M. Tullius Cicero, De Officiis: index, Patriotism
    • M. Tullius Cicero, De Officiis: index, Temperance
    • M. Tullius Cicero, De Officiis: index, Wisdom
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