SLRP: LXV. On The First Cause (Part 1: 1 – 10)



I quite like the Stoic position of a unitary material with two aspects:  πνεῦμα and matter.  The enlivening Logos, the organizing principle of the universe is a beautiful idea.  I do not as much like Plato’s five-part division of causes, as you’ve presented it.  Certainly, it is true that without the various things which he labels causes, the existent things … wouldn’t.  But, that doesn’t make them causes per se.

I may be re-inventing the wheel, here.  But…

From a Stoic perspective, I would challenge the Platonic doctrine and make this change:  There is one cause:  λόγος.  Full stop. 

But the observations of Plato as to the nature of things which exist is worthy of note.  I would propose to call those “constituents,”  not causes.  The existence of things which depend on constituent bodies would then be co-fated in a Chrysippean sense.  Without the timely presence of the co-fated things, existing bodies, simply put, wouldn’t.

This incorporates a keen observation of nature of behalf of Plato, and incorporates it in a Stoic appropriate way.

I’m looking forward to the rest of your letter tomorrow.



Part of Michel Daw’s Reading Plan of Seneca’s Letters.

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