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Owning the Self

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Grades 11-12 | Informative

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Prompt: For centuries, prominent thinkers have pondered the relationship between ownership and the development of self (identity), ultimately asking the question, "What does it mean to own something?" Plato argues that owning objects is detrimental to a person's character. Aristotle claims that ownership of tangible goods helps to develop moral character. Twentieth-century philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre proposes that ownership extends beyond objects to include intangible things as well. In Sartre's view, becoming proficient in some skill and knowing something thoroughly means that we 'own' it.


Think about the differing views of ownership. Then write an essay in which you explain your position on the relationship between ownership and sense of self. Use appropriate evidence from your reading, experience, or observations to support your argument.







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