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Worlds Without EndThe Many Lives of the Multiverse$
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Mary-Jane Rubenstein

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780231156622

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231156622.001.0001

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Ancient Openings of Multiplicity

Ancient Openings of Multiplicity

(p.40) 2 Ancient Openings of Multiplicity
Worlds Without End

Mary-Jane Rubenstein

Columbia University Press

This chapter examines two different models of cosmic multiplicity: the Atomists’ infinite kosmoi that randomly moves through space, and the Stoics’ one world which is destroyed and reborn throughout infinite time. Roman philosophy and Christian orthodoxy were both against the early Stoics’ endless cycles, while the Atomists suffered great ridicule during the first century bce until the early fifteenth century. Throughout the same time period, Epicureanism was consistently criticized by the early church fathers, as well as Cicero, as intellectually unmoving and ethically repulsive, which can be attributed to the concept’s godlessness. The chapter also looks at how St. Augustine’s concern for sovereignty led him to assert God’s creation out of nothing against the followers of Epicurus, the followers of Zeno, and the Physicists (or Stoics).

Keywords:   Atomists, kosmoi, Stoics, Roman philosophy, Christian orthodoxy, Epicureanism, Epicurus, Cicero, St. Augustine, Zeno

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