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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

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

A. A. Long (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

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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