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  • Print publication year: 1967
  • Online publication date: March 2008

Chapter 7 - The Stoa

The Stoic system can be interpreted in two ways, either as a 'mundanization' and materialization of the divine, or, on the contrary, a divinization and spiritualization of matter. Nothing exhibits this ambiguity better than the relation between determinism and providence in the Stoic system. However, the Stoa tried to identify the two. The strict immanentism of the Stoa can be taken to assert either the divine character of the cosmos or the strictly mundane character of the divine. With Posidonius the Stoa opened itself to Platonic influence. Not only did Posidonius admire Plato and comment on some of his dialogues, particularly on the Timaeus, perhaps also on the Phaedrus though hardly in the form of formal commentaries. In Seneca, Epictetus, and M. Aurelius the Platonizing of the Stoa continues. Time and again they express attitudes strongly reminiscent of those of Plato's Phaedo.
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The Cambridge History of Later Greek and Early Medieval Philosophy
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