Cosmopolitan monism versus cosmopolitan pluralism. Cynics and Stoics – the two opposite foundations of moral cosmopolitanism




moral cosmopolitanism, world citizenship, Cynic cosmopolitanism, Stoic cosmopoli¬tanism, kosmopolis, cosmopolitan attitude


Background. At the turn of the XXI Century, cosmopolitanism became the subject of intensive research. One of the key points of this research questions the relationship between national and cosmopolitan identity.

Research purpose. The purpose of the conducted research is to compare the two models of cosmopolitanism in which the abovementioned relationship is the central point of reference. The most instructive examples come from the ancient conceptions of moral cosmopolitanism: the Greek Cynics on one hand, and the Stoics on the other.

Methods. Using the historical comparative and the critical method, the article examines the two ancient answers to the crucial question. The Cynic conception relies on the monistic, whereas the Stoic on the pluralistic model of the relationship between national and cosmopolitan identity. According to the monistic approach, the commitment to the universal, cosmopolitan „laws of virtue” always enjoys priority over the commitment to the national or local community. By contrast, the pluralistic conception of the Stoic oikeiosis grants priority to the local and the national, rather than to the cosmopolitan identity.

Conclusions. The comparison between the two opposite moral-psychological attitudes indicates that the “crude” monistic attitude of the Cynics is more morally consistent than the more psychologically sublime, pluralistic attitude of the Stoics. Similar to the Cynics, the Stoics strongly emphasize the universal standards of virtue, but at the same time they require following local conventions. The constant tension between particularism and universalism included in the Stoic conception may result in deep moral conflict between universal cosmopolitan standards of humanity and particular “partisan” rules required by the nation-state.


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How to Cite

Chmieliński, M. (2021). Cosmopolitan monism versus cosmopolitan pluralism. Cynics and Stoics – the two opposite foundations of moral cosmopolitanism. Studia Prawno-Ekonomiczne, 121, 45–67.