Marcus Aurelius, Meditations: Book 7:55

Every creature must do what follows from its own constitution.  The rest of creation is constituted to serve rational beings (just as in everything else the lower exists for the higher), but rational beings are here to serve each other.  So the main principle in man’s constitution is the social.

Commentary on Book 7:55

  1. ambrose_mnemopolous Post author

    The notion that Nature is made for humanity appears also in Genesis 1:28, “And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it.”

    The notion appears in Christian theology in the later writings of the Church Fathers. Fragment IV from Papias states, “all animals, feeding then only on the productions of the earth, would become peaceable and harmonious, and be in perfect subjection to man.”

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Marcus Aurelius was a Roman Emperor from 161 to 180 AD. He was the last of the Five Good Emperors, and is also considered one of the most important Stoic philosophers.