Envy, Greed, and the Common Good

Alec Monopoly

In this Olio, we will discuss the concept of pleonexia in classic works of moral and political philosophy. If one, for example, an average philosophy professor, wants more money, or the Rolf Schock prize in Logic and Philosophy, one might be motivated to harm one’s more distinguished colleagues. One might break into their offices and steal their rigorously researched and well-argued papers, sure to be published in the most reputable philosophy journals, with the highest impact factors. This example describes pleonexia, the vice that consists in one’s motivation to have more of particular divisible goods than others, or more than one is entitled to of such goods, to the harm of others.

Pleonexia is implicated in some form of injustice in Plato’s Republic and Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, and may be considered in contemporary debates on envy. If, for example, our society permits deep social and economic inequalities, we might be compelled to consider others as competitors or rivals, rather than cooperators, and so, institutionally encouraged to have or obtain more of a share of particular goods in ways that threaten the common good. And if this is true, it is our duty to get together and discuss!




Location: Nowadays

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Mar 28

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Mar 29

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Mar 30

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Taught by No Professor Weekend
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Apr 5

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Taught by Gil Harel
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Apr 7

Olio Breakfast Club | Death & Bagels on a Sunday Morning

Taught by Jeanne Proust
10:30 a.m. at North 3rd St. Market - Williamsburg

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Apr 9

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Taught by Ted Barrow
7 p.m. at Strand Bookstore

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Apr 13

OlioHouse | Music & The Feast for Senses

Taught by Whitney George
noon at OlioHouse | Wassaic, NY

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Apr 23

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Taught by Vishwa Adluri
7 p.m. at Strand Bookstore

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Apr 27

OlioHouse | Found Poetry: Composting Words

Taught by Heather O'Neill
noon at OlioHouse | Wassaic, NY

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May 29

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Taught by Jeanne Proust
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