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Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy, Volume 43$
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Brad Inwood

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199666164

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199666164.001.0001

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The Stoic Argument For The Rationality Of The Cosmos

The Stoic Argument For The Rationality Of The Cosmos

(p.244) (p.245) The Stoic Argument For The Rationality Of The Cosmos
Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy, Volume 43

Nathan Powers

Oxford University Press

One of ancient Stoicism's central claims is that the cosmos as a whole is a rational being, with plans and impulses of its own; but their justification for this claim has not been well understood. This paper argues, on the basis of a reexamination of the crucial evidence in Book 2 of Cicero's De natura deorum, that the Stoics took the rationality of the cosmos to be established as a consequence of two further claims which they endorsed: (1) the cosmos is an object unified by a nature; and (2) the various powers (including reason) found in the parts of a natured object originate, and are contained in, the ruling faculty of its nature.

Keywords:   Stoicism, Stoics, nature, soul, cosmos, rationality, reason, god, divine, Cicero, De natura deorum

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