'Quid est praecipuum?' Status and uses of physics in the 'Naturales Quaestiones' of Seneca the Younger.
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It is argued that the Senecan concept of physics, indebted as it is to earlier Stoic writings, allows the Roman philosopher to think of the respective inquiry in terms of ultimate science, a lore that brings humans closer to the divine, but also possesses profound ethical consequences. The understanding of universal law becomes mandatory, but also sufficient for ethical progress, while the notion of cosmic balance is employed to reject the excess and lack of measure so characteristic of vice. Under the guise of discussing very particular physical questions, Seneca inquires into the eternal, immutable Law, thus indicating the way for human betterment and achievement of perfection.
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