Katja Vogt: "The Agency of the World"

Katja Vogt (Columbia University): "The Agency of the World"

Listen to the talk here.

The handout is here.

The Stoics put forward two premises about causality and agency that appear to be in tension. First, they claim that there is one agent who moves everything, namely god. Second, they offer a scala naturae according to which kinds of entities differ by the way in which they move, with human beings as agents who move by their reasoning. Which is it? Is there one agent, or many? My paper aims to get clear about this question, and in particular about the kind of causality that is agency: the way in which both the active principle and human beings move themselves and the world. The problem of how the agency of the whole and the agency of parts relate is, or so I argue, the Stoic version of what is later called the problem of free will and determinism.