by David Fideler

The Stoic philosophers believed that human beings were linked together in a global community — a cosmopolis — because of the common spark of reason that we all share, which gives birth to human kinship and ethics. They also believed that nature embodies intelligence.

This 30-minute talk, with nearly 60 slides, shows how these ideas intersect, and how they also relate to modern scientific insights about the biosphere and its development.

For best results, watch the video full screen.

The Stoic Cosmopolis: Why We Are Born to Be Ethical 

A Talk by David Fideler at Stoicon 2019, American School of Classical Studies at Athens, October 5, 2019.

This talk covers six main topics:

  • What Is a Cosmopolis?
  • Two Key Ideas Behind “Cosmopolis”
  • The Cosmos as Community and Organism: Why We Are Born to Be Ethical
  • How to See Logos in the Patterns of Nature
  • Cosmopolis, Community, and Modern Science

Bonus Materials


If you liked the presentation, download the bonus PDF by filling out the form below. It includes some of the key quotations from Stoic sources used in the talk along with a transcript of the questions and answers from after the presentation.

David Fideler holds a PhD in philosophy, is the editor of Stoic Insights, and the author of Breakfast with Senecapublished by W. W. Norton, which is the first clear and faithful guide to the practical teachings of the Stoic philosopher Seneca. You can read more about his work here.


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