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Sons of the Earth: Are the Stoics Metaphysical Brutes?

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In this paper, it is argued the Stoics develop an account of corporeals that allows their theory of bodies to be, at the same time, a theory of causation, agency, and reason. The paper aims to shed new light on the Stoics' engagement with Plato's Sophist. It is argued that the Stoics are Sons of the Earth insofar as, for them, the study of corporeals – rather than the study of being – is the most fundamental study of reality. However, they are sophisticated Sons of the Earth by developing a complex notion of corporeals. A crucial component of this account is that ordinary bodies are individuated by the way in which the corporeal god pervades them. The corporeal god is the one cause of all movements and actions in the universe.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Philosophy, Columbia University, 712A Philosophy Hall, 1150 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10027, USA, Email:


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