“… Sophrona…hands over to the Pythian Apollo to be free the female house-born slave named Onasiphoron, priced at three silver minae, and has received the whole price…if anyone touches Onasiphoron in order to enslave her, then she who has sold her and the guarantor together are to ensure that the sale to the god is valid…”
“… many of these contracts survive, inscribed on…public buildings at Delphi and similar religious centres” (Thomas Wiedemann, Greek and Roman Slavery , p. 46-7).
“ Onasiphoron is to remain with Sophrona for the whole period of the latter’s life, doing whatever she is ordered to do without giving cause for complaint. If she does not do so, then Sophrona is to have the power to punish her in whatever way she wishes to. And Onasiphoron is to give Sophrona a child” (quoted in Wiedemann, pp. 46-7).
The slave might have to remain with the master’s heirs as well!
Object of life: To lead a good life (not just ANY life);
This is also the purpose of the household;
“… some persons are led to believe [by confusion over means] that getting wealth is the object of household management, and the whole idea of their lives is that they ought either to increase their money without limit, or at any rate not to lose it. The origin of this disposition in men is that they are intent upon living only, and not upon living well….”
On page 25, Aristotle calls usury, "the most hated sort [of] wealth-getting" and describes it as unnatural. Is this a valid and sound argument? His writing focuses on practical points regarding the state and household, and money is practically useful in easing transactions, as person A and person B may both not need what the other has at the same time. Would honour and desire for the good life be enough to ensure repayment of borrowed money (which may be necessary, for example, for a farmer during a drought), or is interest necessary to motivate those who borrow money to pay it back? Would usury then be natural since it arises from human nature?
Political Philosophy and the Institution of Property
Plato (4 th century BCE)
Guardians should have common property so that they will all regard the same things as their own, thereby unifying the state.
Aristotle (4 th century BCE)
Property should not be common because of free-riding, and other social and moral problems, but its fruits can be.
John Locke (17 th century CE)
Private property is the basis of the state, and the reason for the state to exist.
Property Regime Options All things in common, e.g. in Plato’s Republic Some in common, some not None in common Conceivable, but plagued with problems, e.g. free-riding, 2.3 Possible, e.g. fruits of soil, as at Sparta, 2.5 Impossible—must at least have city in common
Plato believes that common property creates citizens that are more co-operative and kinder to their fellow citizens. The concept of common property has in recent history held much greater sway in mainlaind China than in Hong Kong. With this in mind, do you believe the attitudes of Hong Kongers and Mainlanders differ with regard to their relationship with close family and friends, and also with that of other fellow citizens? If so, is the cause political [property-related]?