Property rights and the right to the fruits of one's labor: A note on Adam Smith's jurisprudence

Economics and Philosophy 21 (2):279-289 (2005)
This paper provides further evidence to the argument that Smith' theory of justice did not follow the natural justice school and that subsequently the ethical position on acquiring private property is not independent of the effects which such acquisition may have on the property-less individuals. I will show that the justification for private ownership is based on “reasonable expectations” which owners of assets have with regard to the fruits of the asset. The expectation to subsist through the use of one's natural assets is equally reasonable. This is not to say that Smith believed that society should equally distribute income. But it does mean that the acquisition of private property must not interfere with the rights of individuals to subsist. Consequently, distribution is clearly an important part of Smith's conception of justice. Footnotes1 I am in debt to P. Bridel, A. Cot, J. Young and the anonymous referees of this Journal for helpful comments.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
 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: 9,357
External links
  • Through your library Configure
    References found in this work BETA

    No references found.

    Citations of this work BETA
    Siegfried van Duffel (2013). Natural Rights to Welfare. European Journal of Philosophy 21 (4):641-664.
    Similar books and articles

    Monthly downloads

    Added to index


    Total downloads

    38 ( #38,114 of 1,088,400 )

    Recent downloads (6 months)

    1 ( #69,601 of 1,088,400 )

    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.