Locke, stock, and peril: Natural property rights, pollution, and risk

Lockean natural rights theories have long been associated with laissez-faire policies on the part of the government, in large measure because of the sanctity they accord to individual rights, especially private property rights. However, I will argue that if one attempts to apply such theories to moral questions about pollution, they present a different face, one set so firmly against laissez-faire -- or laissez-polluer -- as to countenance serious restriction of what Lockeans have traditionally taken to be the proper sphere of individual freedom.
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