Hierocles and the Stoic Theory of Blending

In: Phronesis

Abstract

In Stoic physics, blending (κρᾶσις) is the relation between active pneuma and passive matter; natural bodies from rocks and logs to plants, animals and the cosmos itself are blends of pneuma and matter. Blending structures the Stoic cosmos. I develop a new interpretation of the Stoic theory of blending, based on passages from Hierocles. The theory of blending, I argue, has been misunderstood. Hierocles allows us to see in detail how the theory is supposed to work and how it fits into Stoic physics.

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