Saving Locke from Marx: The labor theory of value in intellectual property theory

Social Philosophy and Policy 29 (2):283-317 (2012)
The labor theory of value is fundamental to John LockeJustifying Intellectual Property,s physical labor contributes only proportionally to this socially-created market value. Robert Nozick, G. A. Cohen, and other philosophers similarly dismiss the labor theory of value as illogical or incoherent. But these philosophers redefine Lockes labor theory of economic value. The principle of interpretative charity demands reconsideration of Lockes property theory within the context of his natural law ethical theory, as presented in An Essay Concerning Human Understanding and in other works. In this context, Locke’s concept of labor means production, which has intellectual as well as physical characteristics, and his concept of value means that which is useful in the flourishing life of a rational being, which is a conception of the good that is more robust than merely physical status or economic wealth. This not only disabuses modern scholars of the absurdities they impose on Locke, it also explains why Locke says that inventions exemplify his labor-based property theory and why he argues for property rights in writings, arguments that seem to have been lost on his critics in intellectual property theory and beyond
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1017/S0265052511000288
 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

View all 21 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Bryan Cwik (2014). Labor as the Basis for Intellectual Property Rights. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 17 (4):681-695.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
A. John Simmons (1998). Makers' Rights. Journal of Ethics 2 (3):197-218.
Paul J. Weithman (1993). Natural Law, Property, and Redistribution. Journal of Religious Ethics 21 (1):165 - 180.
Mario Sáenz (2007). Living Labor in Marx. Radical Philosophy Review 10 (1):1-31.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

33 ( #97,829 of 1,726,249 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

7 ( #99,332 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.