Politics, Philosophy and Economics 8 (4):355-373 (2009)

Bas Van Der Vossen
Chapman University
I here defend historical entitlement theories of property rights against a popular charge. This is the objection that such theories fail because no convincing account of original appropriation exists. I argue that this argument assumes a certain reading of historical entitlement theory and I spell out an alternative reading against which it misfires. On this reading, the role of acts of original appropriation is not to justify but to individuate people’s holdings. I argue that we can identify which acts count as original appropriation against the background of a general justification for a practice of property rights. On this view, what I will call ‘natural’ acts of original appropriation are acts by which a person begins to satisfy the general conditions for justified ownership. Finally, I offer an interpretation of John Locke's theory of appropriation along these lines and argue that it provides an attractive reading of his view
Keywords Original appropriation  Locke  Property  Historical entitlement  Nozick
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DOI 10.1177/1470594X09343074
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References found in this work BETA

Superseding Historic Injustice.Jeremy Waldron - 1992 - Ethics 103 (1):4-28.
Natural Property Rights.Allan Gibbard - 1976 - Noûs 10 (1):77-86.
When is Original Appropriation Required?David Schmidtz - 1990 - The Monist 73 (4):504-518.

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Citations of this work BETA

Libertarianism.Peter Vallentyne - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Lockeans Against Labor Mixing.Brian Kogelmann - 2021 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 20 (3):251-272.
Property, the Environment, and the Lockean Proviso.Bas van der Vossen - 2021 - Economics and Philosophy 37 (3):395 - 412.
No Right to Unilaterally Claim Your Territory: On the Consistency of Kantian Statism.Jakob Huber - 2017 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 20 (6):677-696.
Me and Mine.Peter M. Jaworski & David Shoemaker - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (1):1-22.

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