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The Stoic metaphysic is, like their theory of knowledge, even more realistic than the system of Aristotle. It is concrete spiritualism pure and simple. Mind and body are two aspects of one and the same reality. In the real being, mind is the active element (to TOLOūv); matter, the passive element (to Tráoxov). There is no such thing as pure spirit. Whatever Aristotle may think of him, God has a body, and the world constitutes this body. The universe is a living being (5ộov), of which God is the soul (ψυχή του κόσμου), the governing intelligence (νούς, λόγος του παντός), the Sovereign law (ειμαρμένη, ανάγκη), the motive principle, the animating warmth (TT veŪua Tupoeldés, πυρ τεχνικόν, πυρ νοερόν, πνεύμα διήκον δι' όλου του κόσμου).
The Stoic theology is a kind of compromise between pantheism and theism. God is identical with the universe,
. but this universe is a real being, a living God who has a knowledge of things (vous), who governs our destinies (TT povola), who loves us (pirávopwmtos), and desires our.. good (κηδεμονικός, ωφέλιμος, εύποιητικός ανθρώποις), witliout, however, participating in human passions. The Stoics ascribe providential love to the Infinite Being; hence their teaching differs essentially from that of the Peripatetics and Epicureans (ουκ αθάνατον μόνον και μακάριον, αλλά και Diávopwmov). Their pantheism, which does not exclude the notion of Providence, is essentially religious. They have a pious respect for the religious forms of paganism; they grant the existence of gods who are inferior to Jupiter, and who are revealed either in the stars or in the forces of nature; but they declare these gods to be mortal, and ascribe immortality to the Supreme Being alone.l
1 The Stoics of the different periods differ widely as to religion. The ancient Stoics are unenlightened enough to combat the heliocen. tric system in the name of religion, while the Roman Stoics are much more liberal, but not less accommodating. They look upon myths as allegories, the hidden meaning of which must be unravelled. Jupiter is the soul, but the intelligent soul, of the world.
The Stoic system of physics is like that of Heraclitus; it adopts the view that heat is the principle of life, the theory of the periodical conflagration and renewal of the world, and shows what an important part the struggle for existence plays in nature. Inasmuch as the world is the body of the Deity, it is necessarily a perfect organism (Tédelov oâua), and immaculately beautiful. Conversely, the perfection of the universe proves that it envelopes an infinite Intelligence, which is not, it is true, a transcendent principle, like the God of Aristotle, who moves only the Empyrean, but an omnipresent being like the human soul, which is present in all parts of the body. The evil in the world cannot shake the Stoic's faith in God; for just as a false note may contribute to the general harmony, and as, in a picture, the shadows tend to relieve the light and the colors, so, too, the evil contributes to the realization of the good. In the struggle with injustice, cowardice, and intemperance, justice, courage, and moderation shine with a brighter light. Instead of shaking the faith of the Stoic in Providence, evil confirms it, for evil adds to the universal harmony. The details alone are imperfect; the whole of things is supremely perfect.
Man is to the God-universe what the spark is to the flame, the drop to the ocean. Our body is a fragment of universal matter; our soul, a warm breath emanating from the soul of the world (TT veŪua évő epuov). Since, from
() the Stoic point of view, reality is synonymous with cor. poreality, the soul too is matter. If it were not so, the reciprocal action between it and the body would be inconceivable. The incorporeal cannot act upon a body. The decomposition of the body does not necessarily involve the destruction of the soul; and even if there be no hereafter for all men, the soul of the sage at least, which is more vigorous than that of common mortals, survives death.
1 The physico-theological argument.
But though it may exist beyond the grave, say for centuries, even the philosopher's soul is not immortal in the absolute sense ; for on the last day it will, like everything else in the world, disappear in the universal conflagration (KTÚpwois).' Absolute immortality belongs to
(). God alone. The fate which awaits the soul is not, -however, a destruction of its substance; it will return to the infinite ocean whence it came.
The Stoics had no fixed dogmas concerning theoretical questions like the above; one might believe in immortality or not, without ceasing to be a disciple of the Stoa. What constituted the Stoic and united all the members of the school was the moral idealism which had been taught long before the times of Zeno by men like Socrates, Plato, and Antisthenes; and their motto was virtue for virtue's sake. The highest good, according to Stoicism, is to practise vir- 9 tue for its own sake, to do your duty because it is your duty; everything else, health, fortune, honors, pleasures, are indifferent (ádiápopa), and even bad, when they are the sole object of your strivings. Virtue alone makes us happy, provided we seek it in a disinterested manner. It does not consist merely in the outward performance of the good (tò kalnkov), but in an habitual disposition of the soul (égis, karópowua). It is one ; you cannot be virtuous in one respect and vicious in another. It is the common source of what we call the virtues, i. e., wisdom (opóvno's), courage (ανδρία), temperance (σωφροσύνη), and justice (δικαιοσύνη). To possess one of these cardinal virtues is to possess them
1 For the Stoic metaphysics and physics, see Diog. L., VII. ; Stobaeus, Ecl. I. ; Cic., De nat. deor.; De fato : Seneca, Epistle 65, etc.; Plutarch, De Stoic. Rep., 41 ff. [Cf. also vol. I. of L. Stein's work, cited, p. 140; Siebeck, Untersuchungen, cited p. 59 ; M. Heinze, Die Lehre vom Logos, etc., Oldenburg, 1872. — 'Tr.]
2 Thus the school of Rhodes, a branch of the Athenian school, rejected the doctrine of final conflagration.
all in principle; not to have one of them means to have
A man is good in all things (otoudaios) or bad in all (paūnos). There is no mean between virtue' and vice
(φαύλος). (αμάρτημα) (ápáptnua). Theoretically, there are but two classes of men, the good and the bad, although in reality there seem to be shades, transitions, and compromises between good and evil. Happy is the sage, who, versed in the secrets of nature, knows himself and others; whom this knowledge frees from the guardianship of men, the times, social prejudices, and the laws themselves, in so far as they are the products of human caprice and not of reason (ópēòs nóryos, κοινός λόγος). He alone is truly free; he has overcome the world as well as his own passions. Nothing can affect him nor make him falter ; neither the happenings of the world nor the storms in his own heart. Let come what come may, he is resigned; for everything is decreed by Nature and Fate; and Nature and Fate are synonymous with Reason, Providence, and good Will. Hence, the supreme rule which he observes in all things : sequi naturam, to follow nature, that is, the law which nature enjoins upon conscience, and which is identical with the law that governs the world (ακολούθως τη φύσει, κατά φύσιν ζήν, κατά λόγον ζήν, λογικώς ζήν).
It would be an easy task to point out the contradictions in the theories which we have just outlined, to contrast the moral idealism of the Stoics with the thorough-going realism of their ontology. But, as was said, we have in Stoicism not the system of a single individual but a col
1 For Stoic ethics, see Diog. L., VII. ; Stobaeus, Eclog. ethic. II.; Cicero, De fin.; Tuscul., etc. The writings of the later Stoics, Seneca, Epictetus-Arrianus, Marcus Aurelius, etc. (Ravaisson, De la morale des Stoiciens, Paris, 1850; Fortlage, Veber die Glückseligkeitslehre der Stoiker (in Sechs philosophische l'orträge, Jena, 1867); W. T. Jackson, Seneca and Kant, 1881 ; Apelt, Beiträge zur Geschichte der griechischen Philosophie, Leipsic, 1891. — Tr.]
lection of doctrines advanced by one and the same sect, a religion for the educated classes, who desired to bring their “new faith " into harmony with the old, a kind of union between virtue and the polytheistic Church, embracing the most diverse elements, but inspired with the same ideals. Panatius of Rhodes 1 and Posidonius of Apamea,? the teacher of Cicero and Pompey, introduced the teachings of Stoicism into the Roman world. Owing to the close affinity existing between these teachings and the Latin and Semitic spirit, the Stoics were not long in gaining adherents. Those especially, who, on the decline of the Republic, battled unsuccessfully against the growing despotism of the Cæsars, men like Cicero, Cato, and Brutus, found in this philosophy a deep source of encouragement and consolation. To Stoicism we owe Cicero's De finibus bonorum et malorum, Seneca's 3 Moral Letters, the noble teachings of Epictetus which Flavius Arrianus preserved in his Encheiridion, and the twelve books Ad se ipsum of the Emperor Marcus Aurelius, one of the most admirable products of ancient ethics. Nevertheless, its influence cannot be compared with that of Christianity.
1 Died in the year 112 B. C. See Suidas ; Cicero, De finibus ; De officiis ; De divinatione : De legibus ; Seneca, Epistle 116; Diog. L., VII.
2 Suidas and Diogenes Laertius.
3 The theory has bong ago been abandoned that Seneca and the Apostle St. Paul were on terms of friendship with each other. The best the extreme advocates of the view that a relationship exists between Stoicism and Paulinism can do, is to appeal to the fact that Chrysippus, the chief nder of Stoicism, and the Apostle St. Paul (who was, however, educated at Jerusalem), were born in the same province and perhaps in the same town.
4 We have pointed out the distinguisning characteristics of Stoicism and Christianity in another work (De l'économie du salut. Étule sur les rapports du dogme et de la morale, Strasburg, 1863). See also, Dourif, Du stoicisme et du christianisme considérés dans leurs rapports, leurs differences, et l'influence respective qu'ils ont exercée sur les mæurs, Paris, 1863. [Bryant, The Mutual Influence of Christianity and the Stoic School, London. 1866 · Capes. Stoicism. London. 1880.]