De Finibus Bonorum et Malorum

Apr 11, 2019


Welcome to Grim Harley, MD! We are delighted to provide you with a comprehensive guide on De Finibus Bonorum et Malorum. In this article, we delve deep into the concepts introduced by the ancient Roman philosopher Cicero. Our aim is to offer you a detailed analysis of this philosophical work, enabling you to gain a better understanding and appreciation of the subject matter.


De Finibus Bonorum et Malorum translates to "On the Ends of Good and Evil". This seminal philosophical text, written by Cicero in 45 BC, explores the nature of ethical theories and the concept of human happiness. Cicero presents different schools of thought and engages in a thought-provoking dialogue to define the supreme good and ultimate happiness.

The Three Schools of Thought

In De Finibus Bonorum et Malorum, Cicero presents three main philosophical viewpoints, each advocating for a different notion of what constitutes the highest good. These schools of thought are:

  1. Epicureanism
  2. Stoicism
  3. Peripateticism


Epicureanism, founded by the Greek philosopher Epicurus, posits that the goal of life is the attainment of pleasure and the avoidance of pain. However, Epicurus emphasized that true pleasure is attained through the moderation of desires and the pursuit of intellectual enjoyment.


Stoicism, developed by Zeno of Citium, advocates for the acceptance of fate and the development of inner virtue. According to the Stoics, virtue leads to a life of tranquility and the eudaimonia, or the state of flourishing, that arises from living in accordance with nature.


Peripateticism was founded by Aristotle and focuses on the cultivation of practical wisdom and moral virtues. Aristotle argues that the achievement of happiness comes from fulfilling one's potential as a rational being, and living a life of virtue and contemplation.

Discussion and Analysis

De Finibus Bonorum et Malorum presents a captivating dialogue between Cicero and representatives of each school of thought. Throughout the conversations, Cicero dissects and examines the strengths and weaknesses of each philosophy, highlighting the complexities and intricacies of ethical theories.

Relevance Today

While written over two thousand years ago, De Finibus Bonorum et Malorum continues to hold relevance in contemporary discussions on ethics and human happiness. The philosophical concepts explored in this work still resonate with modern readers, forcing us to question and evaluate our own notions of the good life.


Thank you for exploring our comprehensive guide on De Finibus Bonorum et Malorum. We hope this article has shed light on the philosophical work and its profound insights into the nature of good, evil, and human happiness. Should you have any further questions or wish to delve deeper into the subject matter, feel free to reach out to Grim Harley, MD - your trusted source of knowledge and guidance in matters of philosophy and more.