I’ve long held that Greek philosophy and modern libertarianism are natural allies, tailor-made for each other ‘ not because they are similar but because through their very differences each can supply the deficiencies of the other. This debate in Liberty is another example. Both sides of this debate shared a common assumption: that respect for others’ rights is not itself a component of our self-interest. From this assumption it follows that one must choose between putting one’s own interests first and regarding other people’s rights as having intrinsic weight. But this is precisely what is challenged by Classical Eudaimonism, the moral theory pioneered by Socrates, developed in different ways by Plato, Aristotle, and the Stoics, and accepted by nearly every major moral philosopher before the Renaissance, including Cicero and Thomas Aquinas.
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