Critical Notice of G.A. Cohen’s Self-Ownership, Freedom, and Equality [Book Review]
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Canadian Journal of Philosophy 28:609-626 (1998)
G.A. Cohen’s book brings together and elaborates on articles that he has written on selfownership, on Marx’s theory of exploitation, and on the future of socialism. Although seven of the eleven chapters have been previously published (1977-1992), this is not merely a collection of articles. There is a superb introduction that gives an overview of how the chapters fit together and of their historical relation to each other. Most chapters have a new introduction and often a postscript or addendum that connect them with other chapters. And the four new chapters (on justice and market transactions, exploitation in Marx, the concept of self-ownership, and the plausibility of the thesis of self-ownership) are important contributions that round out and bring closure to many of the central issues. As always with Cohen, the writing is crystal clear, and full of compelling examples, deep insights, and powerful arguments. Cohen has long been recognized as one of the most important exponents of analytic Marxism. His innovative, rigorous, and exciting interpretations of Marx’s theories of history and of exploitation have had a major impact on Marxist scholarship. Starting in the mid-1970s he has increasingly turned his attention to normative political philosophy. As Cohen describes it, he was awakened from his “dogmatic socialist slumbers” by Nozick’s famous Wilt Chamberlain example in which people starting from a position of equality (or other favored patterned distribution) freely choose to pay to watch Wilt Chamberlain play, and the net result is inequality (or other unfavored pattern). During the subsequent twenty years, political 1 philosophy has benefited from his thinking about the nature and plausibility of the thesis of selfownership, and about the scope and demands of equality. In what follows I will focus solely on the material dealing with self-ownership, but first I shall mention some of the interesting material on Marxism and socialism that I will be ignoring. First, at various points Cohen discusses how something like a principle of self-ownership is latent in the standard Marxist condemnation of capitalist exploitation (e.g., the capitalist steals labor time from the laborer)..
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
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.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Michael Pendlebury, Peter Hudson & Darrel Moellendorf (2001). Capitalist Exploitation, Self-Ownership, and Equality. Philosophical Forum 32 (3):207–220.
George G. Brenkert (1998). Self-Ownership, Freedom, and Autonomy. Journal of Ethics 2 (1):27-55.
Tristan Rogers (2010). Self-Ownership, World-Ownership, and Initial Acquisition. Libertarian Papers 2.
Justin Weinberg (1997). Freedom, Self‐Ownership, and Libertarian Philosophical Diaspora. Critical Review 11 (3):323-344.
Jan Narveson (1998). Libertarianism Vs. Marxism: Reflections on G. A. Cohen's Self-Ownership, Freedom and Equality. [REVIEW] Journal of Ethics 2 (1):1-26.
Tom G. Palmer (1998). G. A. Cohen on Self‐Ownership, Property, and Equality. Critical Review 12 (3):225-251.
Eric Mack (2002). Self-Ownership, Marxism, and Egalitarianism: Part II: Challenges to the Self-Ownership Thesis. Politics, Philosophy and Economics 1 (2):237-276.
Nancy Holmstrom (1983). Marx and Cohen on Exploitation and the Labor Theory of Value. Inquiry 26 (3):287 – 307.
Jonathan Quong (2010). Justice Beyond Equality. Social Theory and Practice 36 (2):315-340.
Justin Weinberg (1998). Self‐ and World‐Ownership: Rejoinder to Epstein, Palmer, and Feallsanach. Critical Review 12 (3):325-336.
G. A. Cohen (1986). Self-Ownership, World Ownership, and Equality: Part II. Social Philosophy and Policy 3 (02):77-.
Eric Mack (2002). Self-Ownership, Marxism, and Egalitarianism: Part I: Challenges to Historical Entitlement. Politics, Philosophy and Economics 1 (1):75-108.
Eric Mack (1997). Book Review:Self-Ownership, Freedom, and Equality. G. A. Cohen. [REVIEW] Ethics 107 (3):517-.
Nicholas Vrousalis (2010). G. A. Cohen's Vision of Socialism. Journal of Ethics 14 (3-4):185-216.
Added to index2010-12-22
Total downloads55 ( #34,737 of 1,410,532 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #178,988 of 1,410,532 )
How can I increase my downloads?