Self-ownership and world ownership: Against left-libertarianism

Social Philosophy and Policy 27 (1):168-194 (2010)
What regime of property ownership satisfies norms of justice? The doctrine known as “left-libertarianism” offers a seemingly plausible answer.1 Its basic thrust is that libertarianism properly understood leaves room for an egalitarianism that enhances its appeal. In this essay I argue that the seeming plausibility of the doctrine evaporates under scrutiny. This set of views is unacceptable from any political standpoint, left, right, or center. The left-libertarian category encompasses a family of positions. I focus on one of these, the views elegantly articulated by Michael Otsuka.2 Otsuka’s version of the doctrine nicely illustrates the philosophical ambitions of the project and the flaws at its core. The project is to combine a libertarian thesis of self-ownership (each adult person is the sole full rightful owner of herself) and an egalitarian thesis of world ownership (any legitimate private ownership of material resources or parts of the earth by one person must be compatible with private ownership by all other persons of bundles of resources that are equal in some appropriate sense). I object to both elements in this synthesis. The self-ownership thesis is both too weak and too strong.3 It is too weak to capture a genuine insistence on individual freedom, and too strong in its denial of what..
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1017/S0265052509990070
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 16,667
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

130 ( #19,243 of 1,726,249 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

18 ( #43,617 of 1,726,249 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.