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From Epicurus to EpictetusStudies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy$
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A. A. Long

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199279128

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199279128.001.0001

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The Stoics on World‐Conflagration and Everlasting Recurrence

The Stoics on World‐Conflagration and Everlasting Recurrence

(p.256) 13 The Stoics on World‐Conflagration and Everlasting Recurrence
From Epicurus to Epictetus

A. A. Long (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

In his bookOn providence, Chrysippus, the most learned and rigorous of Stoic philosophers, discussed the recurrence of the world. ‘Since this is so,’ he went on, ‘it is evidently not impossible that we too, after our death, will return to the shape we now are, when certain periods of time have elapsed.’ It is shown that certain aspects of Stoic cosmology are less foolish than they have often been judged to be. The everlasting recurrence of the world, together with the exact replication of ourselves, is an inevitable consequence of mainstream Stoic thinking on causation, time, physical process, and theology. So far from being baldly assumed, or defectively argued, the world-conflagration and everlasting recurrence appear to be over-determined by a convergence of considerations from Stoic philosophy.

Keywords:   Stoicism, Chrysippus, cosmology

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