WIP Talk: Allison Piñeros Glasscock
October 28, 2019 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Allison Piñeros Glasscock will give a presentation to the CPAMP Work-in-Progress seminar, titled:
“Stoic Self-Sufficiency and Seneca on Benefaction”
Abstract: In his treatise On Benefits, Seneca provides an analysis of benefaction according to which successful benefaction requires the mutual exchange of good intentions by benefactor and beneficiary. Seneca’s analysis conflicts with the Stoic thesis that the wise person is immune to the effects of fortune (the Self-Sufficiency Thesis). For if Seneca’s analysis is correct, there is at least one kind of virtuous action that is not entirely up to the individual agent. I shall argue that, despite this tension with the Self-Sufficiency Thesis, Seneca’s analysis is well-motivated and significant. It is well-motivated because benefaction is a special kind of virtuous action, and it is significant because it provides a compelling explanation of two features of Stoic friendship (what it means for friends to have goods in common and how one comes to regard a friend as another self). My final proposal will be that, given the philosophical pay-off of Seneca’s analysis, we should reinterpret the Self-Sufficiency Thesis rather than trying to explain away the apparent unorthodoxies of Seneca’s account of benefaction.