Property, Persons, Boundaries: The Argument from Other-Ownership

Social Theory and Practice 37 (2):189-210 (2011)
  Copy   BIBTEX


A question of interpersonal sovereignty dating back to the early modern era has resurfaced in contemporary political philosophy: viz. Should one individual have, prior to any consent, property rights in another person? Libertarians answer that they should not – and that this commitment requires us to reject all positive duties. Liberal-egalitarians largely agree with the libertarian’s answer to the question, but deny the corollary they draw from it, arguing instead that egalitarian regimes do not require other-ownership. Drawing on recent property theory I argue the libertarians are wrong that positive duties necessarily imply other-ownership, and the egalitarians are wrong that egalitarian entitlements largely avoid other-ownership. Instead, a prohibition on other-ownership guides us towards a middling political position, both allowing and constraining our positive duties and liabilities to others. I conclude by suggesting that a prohibition on other-ownership creates an attractive boundary condition for property in general.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 86,605

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Intrinsic limitations of property rights.J. M. Elegido - 1995 - Journal of Business Ethics 14 (5):411 - 416.
A dilemma for libertarianism.Karl Widerquist - 2009 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 8 (1):43-72.
From Nozick to welfare rights: Self‐ownership, property, and moral desert.Adrian Bardon - 2000 - Critical Review: A Journal of Politics and Society 14 (4):481-501.
On the Value of the Intellectual Commons.James Wilson - 2012 - In New Frontiers in the Philosophy of Intellectual Property.
The Right to Private Property.Jeremy Waldron - 1990 - Oxford, GB: Clarendon Press.
Self-ownership.Peter Vallentyne - 2001 - In Laurence Becker & Charlotte Becker (eds.), Encyclopedia of Ethics, 2nd edition. Garland Publishing.


Added to PP

107 (#141,314)

6 months
3 (#344,247)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Hugh Edmond Breakey
Griffith University

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references