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Panaetius and Posidonius: The Birth of Humanism

Journal: United International Journal for Research & Technology (Vol.1, No. 12)

Publication Date:

Authors : ; ;

Page : 12-15

Keywords : Rational; Irrational; Humanism; Stoicism; Panaetius; Posidonius;

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Both Panaetius and his student, Posidonius, contributed in the birth of humanism during Stoicism. Panaetius influenced the Romans, since he referred to their principles of behavior according to a humanistic ideal. He introduced encyklios paideia, which is the general education in levels, but he remained quite faithful to the Stoic doctrine. Panaetius supported that man's primary aim was to act as a rational moral agent. He stressed the distinctions between the physical components of man and his soul, introducing the human side of Stoicism and the criteria of moral acts. Posidonius followed his teacher, but he made some significant modifications. He was both a philosopher and a scientist. Posidonius eventually left the Stoic school entirely, since he desired to explore fields such as geography and astronomy with the same attention to detail that Stoicism afforded philosophy. Moving forward, he began to study both Plato and Aristotle in depth, rejecting the rigidity of his educational background. Posidonius' multifarious aspects of thought focused on the cosmic sympathy, claiming that the irrational side of human nature was the root of our passions. Posidonius was a polymath, developing a panhuman code of ethics and contributing positively not only to the Stoic philosophy but also to history. In the present paper, I am going to stress the two philosophers' contribution into the development of humanism, as an integral part of Stoic Ethics. The method I used is the analysis of each philosopher's beliefs related to the humanistic ideal and their influence on general education. The conclusion is that their main ideas are shaped by practical philosophy for Panaetius and theoretical approaches for Posidonius. The aim of this paper is to show that the Stoic idea that the human being is a microcosm of the universe is a part of general education.

Last modified: 2020-10-23 04:42:01