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Sunday, January 3, 2021

The Stoic Logos Spermatikos

Heraclitus is the first Greek philosopher to use the term “logos” to describe the principle of order and knowledge. The Greek philosophers who followed him have used the term in their own ways. For the Sophists, “logos” is the term for discourse. Aristotle too uses “logos” for discourse, but he calls it “reasoned discourse” or persuasion. But in the hands of the Stoics, the term “logos” acquires a metaphysical overtone—they talk about the logos spermatikos, which is the seed logos that pervades all inanimate and animate matter. In human beings, the logos spermatikos is the element of the divine principle which sees everything, not in parts, as human senses and human reason do, but as a whole of the truth and reality. The Ancient Hindu philosophers of the Vedic age used the concept of Supreme Brahman (which is the prime author of the universe) to describe a cosmic phenomena similar to the Stoic logos spermatikos.

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