A. The highest good is to live in accordance with nature
- Those who think it involves virtue
- Old Academy and Peripatetics
- Calipho, added nothing but pleasure to virtue
- Diodorus, added nothing but freedom from pain to virtue
- Those who think it consists of just pleasure
- Aristippus, pleasure and pain, pure and simple
- Those who think it is virtue plus some other thing, i.e. not pleasure
- Those who think it is just decency or morality and non-complex
- Zeno or the Stoics
After giving this account, he "narrows down the competition," that is, he tries to show which theory is actually true. The details of this argument shall not concern us here. All that interests me in this context is pointing out that he proposes what we might call an outline, though he does not, of course, present in the form of an outline. All we have in a modern translation is two paragraphs, in which he states this classification. It is by the way not unambiguous (and my particular reconstruction can be criticized).
But even the organization into two paragraphs was probably not there when Cicero wrote this. In fact, there was no mark for the paragraph or even spacing between different words. It was all jumbled together as one continues string of letters.
There is no doubt in my mind that the convention of putting spaces between words, starting new paragraphs with a new line and indicating clearly the different headings of the classification are making it easier for us to read and understand what is said. They also make it easier for us to think about the matter at hand. But it cannot be denied that they are not absolutely necessary either. Clearly, Cicero (and Cicero's contemporaries) could do without these conventions. But outliners, in the end, are based on a convention that is similar in kind to the convention of putting spaces between words when writing. It's a kind of microformat. This microformat is superior to the lack of format in Cicero, but it represents in no way a new way of thinking.
I do not claim that this "outline" by Cicero is anything special. Such passages can be found everywhere in ancient texts that discuss systematic matters.