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God and Cosmos in Stoicism$
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Ricardo Salles

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199556144

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199556144.001.0001

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Chrysippus on Conflagration and the Indestructibility of the Cosmos

Chrysippus on Conflagration and the Indestructibility of the Cosmos

(p.118) 5 Chrysippus on Conflagration and the Indestructibility of the Cosmos
God and Cosmos in Stoicism

Ricardo Salles

Oxford University Press

This chapter deals with Chrysippus' claim that the cosmos ‘should not be said to die’. It argues that the claim is of great significance for our understanding of early Stoic cosmology because it reflects a clash within the school between two conceptions of the conflagration: Chrysippus' own conception and that of Cleanthes. The chapter proceeds as follows. Section 1 reconstructs Chrysippus' arguments. Its strength resides in the fact that it is based on Cleanthean premises; theses that Cleanthes either defends as tenets of his own cosmology or that are fully consistent with his cosmology. In consequence, Chrysippus's argument reveals a tension in Cleanthes' cosmology: the latter cannot consistently claim, as he actually does, that the cosmos will be destroyed at the conflagration. Sections 2 and 3 are devoted to exploring the theses in Cleanthes that seem to generate this inconsistency. Section 4 explains how this conflict comes from a difference in the elemental theories of Cleanthes and Chrysippus.

Keywords:   Chrysippus, cosmos, Cleanthes, Stoic cosmology, conflagration

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