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God and Cosmos in Stoicism by Ricardo Salles

By Ricardo Salles

It is a collective learn, in 9 new essays, of the shut connection among theology and cosmology in Stoic philosophy. The Stoic god is healthier defined because the unmarried energetic actual precept that governs the complete cosmos. the 1st a part of the publication covers 3 crucial subject matters in Stoic theology: the energetic and demiurgical personality of god, his corporeal nature and irreducibility to subject, and destiny because the community of explanations by which god acts upon the cosmos. the second one half turns to Stoic cosmology, and the way it pertains to different cosmologies of the time. The 3rd half examines the moral and non secular results of the Stoic theories of god and cosmos.

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1052c and 1053b = LS 46E and sect. 3 below. B´enatouïl: How Industrious can Zeus be? ¹⁷ This entails that Zeus’ activity on matter is effortless,¹⁸ and that matter cannot by itself have any quality or shape, because god is the cause of all the qualities or shapes matter takes. Once we have acknowledged that divine activity is not defined (in nature or degree) by the effort or energy it requires, but by the simple fact of shaping matter from the inside, it becomes much easier to understand why Zeus remains industrious after the fashioning of the world.

Long and Sedley). Cf. Seneca, Ep. 2 = SVF 2. 303 and Alexander, Mixt. p. 1 = SVF 2. 310. ¹¹ See also DL 7. 147 and 156. 26 God, Providence, and Fate while those of the arts are formed as in the case of statues where the inner parts are not moulded (ἀδιάπλαστα). ¹² This argument emphasizes the limits of the analogy between god and craftsmen, in order to show that the divine craftsman of natural things has to work from the inside of these things, because they are crafted inside out or through and through, whereas artefacts are crafted only superficially and hence from the outside.

In Cicero’s De Natura Deorum, after having proved the existence of the gods and the divinity and rationality of the world as a whole, the Stoic Balbus ‘assigns the same divinity to the stars’ (2. 39), and gives a long description of the complex but rational movements of celestial bodies. Here is the conclusion of this description (2. 56): In the heavens therefore, there is nothing of chance or hazard, no error, no frustration, but absolute order, accuracy, calculation and regularity (omnis ordo veritas ratio constantia).

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