Cicero’s On the Nature of the Gods, and why the Stoics got it wrong — part I

Raphael’s Olympians, 1516–17

Philosophies of life have a lot in common with religions. Up to a point. Both systems of thought comprise, at a minimum, two components: a metaphysics and an ethics. The metaphysics provides adherents to a given system some notion of how the world works; the ethics gives them guidance on how to live in the world. So if you are a Stoic, for instance, you accept…

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