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Friends Hold All Things in CommonTradition, Intellectual Property, and the Adages of Erasmus$
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Kathy Eden

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780300087574

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300087574.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM YALE SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.yale.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Yale University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in YSO for personal use.date: 26 September 2021

Property, Pythagoras, and Ancient Political Philosophy

Property, Pythagoras, and Ancient Political Philosophy

Chapter:
(p.78) 4 Property, Pythagoras, and Ancient Political Philosophy
Source:
Friends Hold All Things in Common
Author(s):

Kathy Eden

Publisher:
Yale University Press
DOI:10.12987/yale/9780300087574.003.0005

This chapter explains Erasmus's response to readers' objections stating that European princes cannot possibly take Plato's guardians from the Republic as their models. Erasmus insists that, far from trying to deprive these princes of their wealth, he is rather recommending that they pay more attention to property of another, more valuable kind. It has been shown that Erasmus inherits his understanding of both friendship and friendship's relation to tradition from a philosophical tradition that goes back to Pythagoras and Plato. This chapter shows that this same philosophical tradition informs Erasmus's understanding of property. In the opening adage on friendship and property, Erasmus invokes those ancient philosophers most crucial to this understanding: Pythagoras, Plato, Aristotle, and Cicero. As this chapter shows, all four political writers put the issue of property at the very center of their political philosophy.

Keywords:   readers' objections, European princes, Plato's guardians, Republic, friendship, tradition

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