My husband drove from home with our bikes, and I took the NightJet all the way from Vienna. Then, we left the car in Cologne and took the train to Mainz; over the next five days, we biked at a leisurely pace back to Cologne, stopping at castles …Continue Reading. My husband and I recently completed a 5-day cycling trip along the Rhine River in Germany. This post covers the last three days of our vacation. Day 3 On our third day, we stopped to explore Stolzenfels Castle. Many important …Continue Reading. Cycling along the Rhine River is a popular Summer vacation here in Germany.
So much so, that there are tourism companies dedicated to planning your entire cycling trip. No idea how …Continue Reading. We spent about 4 hours learning German every morning, and the rest of the day was centered around leisure activities. If you want, you can explore …Continue Reading.
Perhaps, they were all still asleep after a night of partying extra hard to Schlager music. There were a few other guests getting a bun or coffee, but the place was by no means full. We would have been excited to meet up with our friend even if he …Continue Reading. A few weeks ago, we took our bikes to a nearby strawberry field where you can pick your own strawberries. There d-e , Plato asks for a mark or indication of what is real or what has being.
Thus, only bodies exist.
However, they also hold that there are other ways of appearing in the complete inventory of the world than by virtue of existing. The distinction between the subsistent and the existent somewhat complicates the easy assimilation of Stoicism to modern materialism. All existent things are, in addition, particulars. But there may well have been development within the school from this conceptualist view toward a form of predicate nominalism.
See Caston In accord with this ontology, the Stoics, like the Epicureans, make God a corporeal entity, though not as with the Epicureans one made of everyday matter. But while the Epicureans think the gods are too busy being blessed and happy to be bothered with the governance of the universe Epicurus, Letter to Menoeceus —4 , the Stoic God is immanent throughout the whole of creation and directs its development down to the smallest detail. The governing metaphor for Stoic cosmology is biological , in contrast to the fundamentally mechanical conception of the Epicureans.
The Stoics insistence that only bodies are capable of causing anything, however, guarantees that this cosmic life force must be conceived of as somehow corporeal. More specifically, God is identical with one of the two ungenerated and indestructible first principles archai of the universe.
One principle is matter which they regard as utterly unqualified and inert. It is that which is acted upon.
God is identified with an eternal reason logos , Diog. The designing fire is likened to sperm or seed which contains the first principles or directions of all the things which will subsequently develop Aristocles in Eusebius, 46G. The biological conception of God as a kind of living heat or seed from which things grow seems to be fully intended.
The further identification of God with pneuma or breath may have its origins in medical theories of the Hellenistic period. See Baltzly On the entire issue of God and its relation to the cosmos in Stoicism, see the essays in Salles Just as living things have a life-cycle that is witnessed in parents and then again in their off-spring, so too the universe has a life cycle that is repeated. This life cycle is guided by, or equivalent to, a developmental plan that is identified with God.
This idea of world-cycles punctuated by conflagrations raised a number of questions. Will there be another you reading this encyclopedia entry in the next world cycle? Or merely someone exactly similar to you? Different sources attribute different answers to the Stoics on these questions. For sameness of person, see Alexander 52F.
For someone indistinguishable, but not not identical, see Origen 52G. The doctrine of eternal recurrence also raises interesting questions about the Stoic view of time. Did they suppose that the moment in the next world cycle at which you or someone indistinguishable from you reads this entry is a moment in the future so time is linear or the very same moment with some notion of circular time?
For a clear exchange on the issue, see Long and Hudson The first things to develop from the conflagration are the elements. Of the four elements, the Stoics identify two as active fire and air and two as passive water and earth. The active elements, or at least the principles of hot and cold, combine to form breath or pneuma. What is a sustaining cause? The Stoics think that the universe is a plenum. Like Aristotle, they reject the existence of empty space or void except that the universe as a whole is surrounded by it.
The answer is: pneuma. Pneuma passes through all other bodies; in its outward motion it gives them the qualities that they have, and in its inward motion makes them unified objects Nemesius, 47J. VII, Perhaps as a result of this, they developed a theory of mixture which allowed for two bodies to be in the same place at the same time.
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It should be noted, however, that some scholars e. Perhaps instead they proposed merely that pneuma is the matter of a body at a different level of description.
Pneuma comes in gradations and endows the bodies which it pervades with different qualities as a result. Pneuma in plants is, in addition, LS physique phusis , lit. Their account of the human soul mind is strongly monistic. Unlike the Platonic tri-partite soul, all impulses or desires are direct functions of the rational, commanding faculty. This strongly monistic conception of the human soul has serious implications for Stoic epistemology and ethics.
In the first case, our impressions of sense are affections of the commanding faculty. In mature rational animals, these impressions are thoughts, or representations with propositional content.
To assent to an impression is to take its content as true. To withhold assent is to suspend judgement about whether it is true. Because both impression and assent are part of one and the same commanding faculty, there can be no conflict between separate and distinct rational and nonrational elements within oneself — a fight which reason might lose.
X, e. There is no reason to think that the calculating part can always win the epistemological civil war which Plato imagines to take place within us.
But because the impression and assent are both aspects of one and the same commanding faculty according to the Stoics, they think that we can always avoid falling into error if only our reason is sufficiently disciplined. In a similar fashion, impulses or desires are movements of the soul toward something. In a rational creature, these are exercises of the rational faculty which do not arise without assent.
Thus, a movement of the soul toward X is not automatically consequent upon the impression that X is desirable. The Stoics, however, claim that there will be no impulse toward X — much less an action — unless one assents to the impression Plutarch, 53S. The upshot of this is that all desires are not only at least potentially under the control of reason, they are acts of reason. Thus there could be no gap between forming the decisive judgement that one ought to do X and an effective impulse to do X. Annas Unlike for the Epicureans, however, it does not follow from this that my soul will be utterly destroyed at the time at which my body dies.
Chrysippus alleged that the souls of the wise would not perish until the next conflagration Diog. Is this simply a failure of nerve on the part of an otherwise thorough-going materialist? Recall that the distinctive movement of pneuma is its simultaneous inward and outward motion. It is this which makes it tensile and capable of preserving, organising and, in some cases, animating the bodies which it interpenetrates. The Stoics equate virtue with wisdom and both with a kind of firmness or tensile strength within the commanding faculty of the soul Arius Didymus 41H, Plutarch 61B, Galen 65T.
Perhaps the thought was that the souls of the wise had a sufficient tensile strength that they could continue to exist as a distinct body on their own. Later Stoics like Panaetius 2nd c. BCE and Posidonius first half 1st c. Let us conclude this survey of the physical part of Stoic philosophy with the question of causal determinism, though this is an issue that will emerge again in the following section on logic.
The clear first impression of Stoic philosophy is that they are determinists about causation, who regard the present as fully determined by past events, but who nonetheless want to preserve scope for moral responsibility by defending a version of compatibilism. That characterisation is not wrong exactly, but it makes the matter sound far simpler than it in fact is since it effaces some important differences between our framework for discussing these matters and that of ancient philosophers.
One key difference is that most contemporary thinking about causation treats it as a relation between events. But ancient discussions of causation take place in a context that has no ready vocabulary for events. It just means that there is no specific piece of philosophical terminology for contrasting what happens with the things that it happens to or with truths about what happened.
When we speak of events, we speak of things that helpfully fill the gap between things and statements.