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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

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

Nathan Powers

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199666164.003.0009

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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