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date: 25 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The chapter discusses the natural philosophy of the ancient Stoics including the attitude they took towards the so-called special and applied sciences (technai). After a historical outline introducing the main facts and personalities (sec. 1), the role and status of natural philosophy within the Stoic system are explained, with special reference to the moral and theological dimension of the study of nature, that is, the Stoic view of the world as a rationally structured and providentially determined whole and what this view implies for our way of living (sec. 2). Two subsequent sections are concerned with Stoic materialist physics on both the universal (macrocosmic) and the individual (microcosmic) level respectively (sec. 3 and sec. 4). The next section is specifically devoted to exploring Stoic views on, and involvement with, applied sciences and arts such as astronomy, mathematics and medicine (sec. 5). The Epilogue sums up the main results from the preceding discussion (sec. 6).

Keywords: astronomy, biology, Chrysippus of Soli, geography, mathematics, Panaetius of Rhodes, Posidonius of Apamea, Seneca, Zeno of Citium

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