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Economics and the VirtuesBuilding a New Moral Foundation$
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Jennifer A. Baker and Mark D. White

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198701392

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198701392.001.0001

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The Epicureans on Happiness, Wealth, and the Deviant Craft of Property Management

The Epicureans on Happiness, Wealth, and the Deviant Craft of Property Management

Chapter:
(p.37) Chapter 2 The Epicureans on Happiness, Wealth, and the Deviant Craft of Property Management
Source:
Economics and the Virtues
Author(s):

Tim O’Keefe

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198701392.003.0003

Ancient ethicists were concerned with the proper attitude towards acquiring wealth, as well as the place of the craft of financial planning or property management (oikonomia) in the good life. The Epicureans stake out distinctive and plausible positions on these issues. The later Epicurean Philodemus contends that there is indeed a craft that allows you to obtain and manage wealth skillfully, but that cultivating and exercising that craft is incompatible with being a virtuous person and obtaining happiness. Philodemus’ views are an advance on the Socratic and Aristotelian positions on the craft of property management against which he is reacting—or so this chapter argues. By devoting himself to becoming as skillful as he can in accumulating property, the expert property manager will acquire habits and attitudes that distort his personality and disturb his peace of mind.

Keywords:   Epicureans, Philodemus, wealth, craft, property management, virtue

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