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From Epicurus to EpictetusStudies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy$
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A. A. Long

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199279128

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199279128.001.0001

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Stoic Philosophers on Persons, Property‐Ownership, and Community

Stoic Philosophers on Persons, Property‐Ownership, and Community

Chapter:
(p.335) 16 Stoic Philosophers on Persons, Property‐Ownership, and Community
Source:
From Epicurus to Epictetus
Author(s):

A. A. Long (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199279128.003.0016

This chapter suggests a further tie between Stoicism and later conceptions of the person as a moral, psychological, and legal entity. That tie has to do not only with consciousness or self-consciousness, but also with the concept of property or ownership, a concept that the Stoics connected with self-consciousness and individual identity in a highly original way. It is argued that the Stoics pioneered two key notions of liberal thought: first, that every human individual is the natural and rightful owner of at least one thing — himself or herself; second, that human nature inclines individual human beings to acquire private property and to interact with one another as property-owners. Stoic ideas about human beings as property-owners have striking affinities with 17th-century and Enlightenment thought on property and persons, especially ideas developed by Locke and Hegel.

Keywords:   Stoicism, liberal thought, private property, human nature, self-consciousness, individual identity

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