It is argued that only the embedding of Rawlsian political liberalism within a republican framework secures the content of his view against Cohen's critique of Rawlsian special incentives. That content is fully specified in the form of a property-owning democracy; only this background set of institutions (or one functionally equivalent to it) will secure the stability of Rawls's egalitarian principles. A liberal-republicanism, rather than political liberalism alone, offers deeper grounding for our commitment to a property-owning democracy as a (...) privileged political economy for the expression of our egalitarian ideals. (shrink)
It is widely thought that mind–body substance dualism is implausible at best, though mere “property” dualism is defensible and even flourishing. This paper argues that substance dualism is no less plausible than property dualism and even has two advantages over it.
Abstract Substance dualism is widely rejected by philosophers of mind, but many continue to accept some form of property dualism. The assumption here is that one can consistently believe that (1) mental properties are not physical properties, while denying that (2) mental particulars are not physical particulars. But is this assumption true? This paper considers several analyses of what makes something a physical particular (as opposed to a non-physical particular), and it is argued that on any plausible analysis, accepting (...) (1) requires accepting (2) as well. (shrink)
John Locke's theory of property is perhaps the most distinctive and the most influential aspect of his political theory. In this book James Tully uses an hermeneutical and analytical approach to offer a revolutionary revision of early modern theories of property, focusing particularly on that of Locke. Setting his analysis within the intellectual context of the seventeenth century, Professor Tully overturns the standard interpretations of Locke's theory, showing that it is not a justification of private property. Instead (...) he shows it to be a theory of individual use rights within a framework of inclusive claim rights. He links Locke's conception of rights not merely to his ethical theory, but to the central arguments of his epistemology, and illuminates the way in which Locke's theory is tied to his metaphysical views of God and man, his theory of revolution and his account of a legitimate polity. (shrink)
The institutional theory of property is that view that property rights are entirely and essentially conventional and are the creatures of states and coercively backed legal systems. In this paper, I argue that, although states and legal systems have a valuable role in deﬁning property rights, the institutional story is not the whole story. Rather, the property rights hat we have reason to recognize as part of justice are partly conventional in character and partly rooted in (...) universal human interests and dispositions. (shrink)
In this book, Buckle provides a historical perspective on the political philosophies of Locke and Hume, arguing that there are continuities in the development of seventeenth and eighteenth-century political theory which have often gone unrecognized. He begins with a detailed exposition of Grotius's and Pufendorf's modern natural law theory, focussing on their accounts of the nature of natural law, human sociability, the development of forms of property, and the question of slavery. He then shows that Locke's political theory takes (...) up and develops these basic themes of natural law. The author argues further that, rather than being a departure from this tradition, the moral sense theory of Hutcheson and Hume represents a not entirely successful attempt to underpin the natural law theory with an adequate moral psychology. (shrink)
John Locke's labor theory of property is one of the seminal ideas of political philosophy and served to establish its author's reputation as one of the leading social and political thinkers of all time. Through it Locke addressed many of his most pressing concerns, and earned a reputation as an outstanding spokesman for political individualism - a reputation that lingers widely despite some partial challenges that have been raised in recent years. In this major new study Matthew Kramer offers (...) an extensive critique of the labor theory and investigates the consequences of its downfall. With incisive analyses of the merits and failings of many aspects of Locke's political thought, Kramer advances a powerful challenge to Locke's image as an individualist. Employing a rigorously philosophical methodology, but remaining aware of the insights generated by historical approaches to Locke, Kramer concludes that Locke's political vision was in fact profoundly communitarian. (shrink)
This paper presents a framework for discussing issues of ownership in connection to virtual worlds. We explore how divergent interests in virtual property can be mediated by applying a constructivist perspective to the concept ownership. The simple solutions offered today entail that a contract between the game producer and the gamer gives the game developer exclusive rights to all virtual property. This appears to be unsatisfactory. A number of legitimate interests on part of both producers and gamers may (...) be readily distinguished. More complex distributions of rights would allow many of these interests to be consistently respected. (shrink)
I argue there is a distinct and integrated property-concept applying directly, not to things, but to actions. This concept of Property in Activities describes a determinate ethico-political relation to a particular activity – a relation that may (but equally may not) subsequently effect a wide variety of relations to some thing. The relation with the activity is fixed and primary, and any ensuing relations with things are variable and derivative. Property in Activities illuminates many of the vexing (...) problem cases arising in property theory. Communal, intangible, fugacious, hunting, fishing, customary and recreation property rights are not ersatz instances of owning things – they are paradigms of Property Protected Activities. The same is true of the functioning of property in various aspects of contemporary law, its application in philosophical arguments such as Locke’s, and much of its historical application prior to the Nineteenth Century. By illustrating how one stable concept can resolve this myriad of otherwise puzzling cases, I argue that Property in Activities is as important and influential a concept as Ownership of Things. (shrink)
This book discusses Locke's theory of property from both a critical and an interpretative standpoint. The author first develops a comprehensive interpretation of Locke's argument for the legitimacy of private property, and then examines the extent to which the argument is really serviceable in defense of that institution. He contends that a purified version of Locke's argument--one that adheres consistently to the logic of Locke's text while excluding considerations extraneous to his logic--actually does establish the legitimacy of a (...) form of private property. This version, which is both defensible in contemporary, secular terms and is, essentially, egalitarian, should provoke a reassessment of the nature of Locke's relevance to contemporary discussions of distributive justice. (shrink)
No natural rights theory justifies strong intellectual property rights. More specifically, no theory within the entire domain of natural rights thinking – encompassing classical liberalism, libertarianism and left-libertarianism, in all their innumerable variants – coherently supports strengthening current intellectual property rights. Despite their many important differences, all these natural rights theories endorse some set of members of a common family of basic ethical precepts. These commitments include non-interference, fairness, non-worsening, consistency, universalisability, prior consent, self-ownership, self-governance, and the establishment (...) of zones of autonomy. Such commitments have clear applications pertaining to the use and ownership of created ideas. I argue that each of these commitments require intellectual property rights to be substantially limited in scope, strength and duration. In this way the core mechanisms of natural rights thinking ensure a robust public domain and categorically rule out strong intellectual property rights. (shrink)
The question whether qualities are metaphysically more fundamental than or mere limiting cases of relations can be addressed in an applied symbolic logic. There exists a logical equivalence between qualitative and relational predications, in which qualities are represented as one-argument-place property predicates, and relations as more-than-one-argument-place predicates. An interpretation is first considered, according to which the logical equivalence of qualitative and relational predications logically permits us ontically to eliminate qualities in favor of relations, or relations in favor of qualities. (...) If metaphysics is understood at least in part as an exercise in ontic economy, then we may be encouraged to adopt a property ontology of qualities without quality-irreducible relations, or relations without relation-irreducible qualities. If either strategy is followed, the choice of reducing qualities to relations or relations to qualities will need to be justified on extra-logical grounds. These might include a perceived greater intuitiveness, explanatory fecundity, compatibility with cognitive ontogeny or developmental psychology, expressive or explanatory elegance or cumbersomeness, and an open-ended list of philosophical motivations that could reasonably favor the ontic prioritization of qualities over relations or relations over qualities. Despite its intuitive appeal, the thesis that logical equivalence together with extra-logical preferences justifies unidirectional ontic reduction of relations to qualities or qualities to relations is rejected in light of the more defensible proposition that the logical equivalence of qualitative and relational predications actually supports the opposite conclusion, that both qualities and relations are logically indispensable to a complete ontology of properties. The logical equivalence of qualitative and relational predications, insofar as we continue to observe the distinction, makes it logically necessary ontically for both qualities and relations to exist whenever either one exists. That logically equivalent qualitative and relational predications have as their truth-makers the exemplification by objects of both qualities and relations as equi-foundational properties further suggests that there is no deeper logical distinction between qualities and relations, but only two convenient lexical-grammatical designations for property predications involving one- versus more-than-one-argument-place. (shrink)
There is a great deal that might be said about justice in property claims. The strategy that I shall employ focuses attention upon the initial acquisition of property -- the most sensitive and most interesting area of property theory. Every theory that discusses property claims favorably assumes that there is some justification for transforming previously unowned resources into property. It is often this assumption which has seemed, to one extent or another, to be vulnerable to (...) attack by critics of particular justifications of property. Nevertheless, this assumption is frequently left undefended by property theorists, and where it is defended, the defense is often remarkably weak. That some initial claim to property be defensible is required by any theory which holds that certain present distributions may be justified, that certain transfers of property are justified, or that restitution ought to be made for previous injustice in transfer or acquisition. The initial acquisition of property, and its justification, is crucial to the remainder of property theory. (shrink)
To define new property terms, we combine already familiar ones by means of certain logical operations. Given suitable constraints, these operations may presumably include the resources of first-order logic: truth-functional sentence connectives and quantification over objects. What is far less clear is whether we can also use modal operators for this purpose. This paper clarifies what is involved in this question, and argues in favor of modal property definitions.
In recent years there has been a resurgence of interest in property dualism—the view that some mental properties are neither identical with, nor strongly supervenient on, physical properties. One of the principal objections to this view is that, according to natural science, the physical world is a causally closed system. So if mental properties are really distinct from physical properties, then it would seem that mental properties never really cause anything that happens in the physical world. Thus, dualism threatens (...) to lead inexorably to epiphenomenalism. In this paper, I will argue that the only way for a property dualist to avoid epiphenomenalism is to deny that the human body is strictly identical with the sum of its microphysical parts. I will go on to argue that the only way to sustain such anti-reductionism about the human body is to embrace some sort of substance-hylomorphism. (shrink)
A question of interpersonal sovereignty dating back to the early modern era has resurfaced in contemporary political philosophy: viz. Should one individual have, prior to any consent, property rights in another person? Libertarians answer that they should not – and that this commitment requires us to reject all positive duties. Liberal-egalitarians largely agree with the libertarian’s answer to the question, but deny the corollary they draw from it, arguing instead that egalitarian regimes do not require other-ownership. Drawing on recent (...)property theory I argue the libertarians are wrong that positive duties necessarily imply other-ownership, and the egalitarians are wrong that egalitarian entitlements largely avoid other-ownership. Instead, a prohibition on other-ownership guides us towards a middling political position, both allowing and constraining our positive duties and liabilities to others. I conclude by suggesting that a prohibition on other-ownership creates an attractive boundary condition for property in general. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: 1. Fichte's theory of property; 2. Applying the concept of right: Fichte and Babeuf; 3. Fichte's reappraisal of Kant's theory of cosmopolitan right; 4. The relation of right to morality in Fichte's Jena theory of the state and society; 5. The role of virtue in the Addresses to the German Nation.
An appropriate characterization of property types is an important topic for measurement science. On the basis of a set-theoretic model of evaluation and measurement processes, the paper introduces the operative concept of property evaluation type, and discusses how property types are related to, and in fact can be derived from, property evaluation types, by finally analyzing the consequences of these distinctions for the concepts of ‘property’ used in the International Vocabulary of Metrology – Basic and (...) General Concepts and Associated Terms (VIM3). (shrink)
This paper examines some consequences of the (quasi-)epiphenomenalism implied by a property dualistic view of phenomenal consciousness. The focus is upon the variation of phenomenal content over time. A thought-experiment is constructed to support two claims. The weaker claim exhibits an incompatibility which arises in certain logically possible situations between a conscious subject’s epistemic norms and the requirement that one be aware of one’s conscious experience. This could be interpreted as providing some epistemic grounds for the postulation of bridging (...) laws between the physical/functional and phenomenal domains. The stronger claim has it that the ontology of property dualism is not properly able to account for the certainty I have of being phenomenally conscious. The problem is viewed as resulting from the neglect of the intensional context involved in a proper representation of the argument for property dualism. It is argued that only a transcendental move can do justice to this certainty I have. (shrink)
I try in this essay to accomplish two things. First I offer some first thoughts toward a clarification of the ethical foundations of private property rights that avoids pitfalls common to more strictly Lockean theories, and is thus better prepared to address arguments posed by critics of standard private property arrangements. Second, I'll address one critical argument that has become pretty common over the years. While versions of the argument can be traced back at least to Pierre Joseph (...) Proudhon, I'll focus on a formulation given it by Jeremy Waldron. The basic idea is that the only sound arguments for private property rights lead to the conclusion that society has an obligation to insure that every citizen possess private property. In Waldron's formulation, what is justifiable is a general, rather than a special, right to private property. I shall try to suggest that this conclusion is unwarranted. (shrink)
In this volume, fourteen philosophers, economists and legal scholars and one computer scientist address various facets of the same question: under which conditions (if any) can intellectual property rights be fair? This general question unfolds in a variety of others: What are the parallels and differences between intellectual and real property? Are libertarian theories especially sympathetic to IP rights? Should Rawlsian support copyright? How can a concern for incentives be taken into account by each of the main theories (...) of justice? What's exactly wrong with free-riding, when dealing with non-rival goods? This requires a close examination of a variety of specific issues such as peer-to-peer file sharing, access to vital medicines, the interaction between copyright and freedom of expression, patents on genes, etc. It also involves bringing together state-of-the-art knowledge on legal, economic and technical issues with the most advanced state of our normative theories. (shrink)
An appropriate characterization of property types is an important topic for measurement science. This paper proposes to derive them from evaluation types, and analyzes the consequences of this position for the VIM3.
From a pre-publication review by the late Austrian economist, Don Lavoie, of George Mason University: -/- "The book's radical re-interpretation of property and contract is, I think, among the most powerful critiques of mainstream economics ever developed. It undermines the neoclassical way of thinking about property by articulating a theory of inalienable rights, and constructs out of this perspective a "labor theory of property" which is as different from Marx's labor theory of value as it is from (...) neoclassicism. It traces roots of such ideas in some fascinating and largely forgotten strands of the history of economics. It draws attention to the question of "responsibility" which neoclassicism has utterly lost sight of. It is startlingly fresh in its overall approach, and unusually well written in its presentation. ... It constitutes a better case for its economic democracy viewpoint than anything else in the literature." . (shrink)
As is well known, the variable-sharing property (vsp) is, according to Anderson and Belnap, a necessary property of any relevant logic. In this paper, we shall consider two versions of the vsp, what we label the "weak vsp" (wvsp) and the "strong vsp" (svsp). In addition, the "no loose pieces property," a property related to the wvsp and the svsp, will be defined. Each one of these properties shall generally be characterized by means of a class (...) of logical matrices. In this way, any logic verified by an actual matrix in one of these classes has the property the class generally represents. Particular matrices (and so, logics) in each class are provided. (shrink)
Public goods, as well as commercial commodities, are affected by exclusive arrangements secured by intellectual property (IP) rights. These rights serve as an incentive to invest human and material capital in research and development. Particularly in the life sciences, IP rights regulate objects such as food and medicines that are key to securing human rights, especially the right to adequate food and the right to health. Consequently, IP serves private (economic) and public interests. Part of this charge claims that (...) the current IP regime is privatizing the very building blocks of research and development – that used to be part of the commons. The public domain, in contrast to the private domain, may be the locus of much more diverse forms of creativity that at the same time ensures a wider plurality of productive traditions. An IP regime must support a sense of public morality because it is dependent upon civil support. This inevitably prompts questions of what are “good” exclusive rights and what are “bad” exclusive rights, and how shall such IP rights be developed. We argue that the democratization of the current IP regimes is an important first step to respond to these issues. (shrink)
A prominent approach in the debate on territorial rights claims that a group may have jurisdictional rights over a particular land if that land has become a repository of value for the group. This justification relies on a premise which has remained largely unsubstantiated, namely that having jurisdictional rights should be our preferred means for ensuring the group’s retaining of the land’s embedded value. This article discusses a recent attempt to fill this gap. David Miller acknowledges that the value could (...) be retained by the group if it has private property rights. However, he argues that because such rights can be changed at will by the holder of jurisdictional rights the group’s retaining of value is unacceptably insecure. I argue that this attempt fails. Miller’s argument is briefly stated so I start with some reconstructive work. Most importantly, I suggest that the argument relies on a descriptive claim about empirical probabilities, namely that the group’s having jurisdictional rights (in international law) provides the largest feasible reduction of insecurity. I then provide some tentative suggestions about expected state behavior which challenge the validity of that descriptive claim; I argue that a reform of international law which confers internationally enforced property rights on the relevant groups—rather than jurisdiction—may provide a similar (or even relatively larger) reduction of insecurity. My tentative conclusion is that Miller’s appeal to insecurity fails to provide the “embedded value” approach (favored by him and others) with the needed bridge from property rights to rights of jurisdiction. (shrink)
This article attempts to show, first, that for Hegel the role of property is to enable persons both to objectify their freedom and to properly express their recognition of each other as free, and second, that the Marx of 1844 uses fundamentally similar ideas in his exposition of communist society. For him the role of ‘true property’ is to enable individuals both to objectify their essential human powers and their individuality, and to express their recognition of each other (...) as fellow human beings with needs, or their ‘human recognition’. Marx further uses these ideas to condemn the society of private property and market exchange as characterised by ‘estranged’ forms of property and recognition. He therefore uses a structure of ideas which Hegel had used to justify the institutions of private property and market exchange, in order to condemn those same institutions. (shrink)
Our days are a vast, intricate, evolving dance of mutual understandings. We stop at a traffic light, offer a plastic card as payment for a meal, leave our weapons at home, or enter a voting <span class='Hi'>booth</span>. We live and work in close proximity, at high speed, with few collisions: on our roads and in our neighborhoods, places of worship, and places of business. Somehow, having all those people around is more liberating than stifling. The secret is that we know (...) roughly what to expect from each other. Knowing what to expect enables us to adapt to each other. Not being obliged to conform to expectations—being free to test the previously untested— is likewise a great benefit. The two benefits seem mutually exclusive, yet property rights, combined with freedom of contract, enable us to reap both at once. We can rely on being able to go to market and find someone selling cauliflower at an affordable price. We can also rely on being able to go to market and find someone rendering obsolete what a few years ago had been cutting-edge technology. We make progress by testing what has not previously been tested. We experiment. One problem with experiments is: many of them don’t work.1 Or, the ideas being tested turn out to be bad ideas. Thus a successful society encourages people not only to experiment, but also to shut down experiments whose inspiration proves unsound. What kind of framework encourages experimentation without at the same time perpetuating bad ideas? Here is one hypothesis: in societies that sustain progress over long periods, people are free to experiment at their own expense and free from having to pay for other people’s bad ideas. This is the true test of a system of property. It is natural to assume instead that the true test of a system of property is a question of whether the system is just. That is, philosophers should theorize about justice first, and only then begin to theorize about what can legitimately become a person’s property. I have become skeptical about this.. (shrink)
This book begins with a distinction between a general, a specific, and a particular justification of property rights. Then after a brief review of Hohfeld's analysis of legal rights, and Honore's analysis of legal ownership, various standard general justifications are assessed: first occupancy; personality; Locke's labor theory of original acquisition; utilitarian property theory (value theory and economic versions); and accounts based on a strong principle of personal liberty.. This is followed by remarks on anti--property arguments. The book (...) concludes with a chapter on specific justification – that is, the justification of property rights in specific types of things, such as the means of production. (shrink)
This paper foregrounds one argument in Rawls’s work that is crucial to his case for one, determinate, form of political economy: a property-owning democracy. Section one traces the evolution of this idea from the seminal work of Cambridge economist James Meade; section two demonstrates how a commitment to a property-owning democracy flows from Rawls’s own principles; section three focuses on Rawls’s striking critique of orthodox welfare state capitalism. This all sets the stage for an argument, presented in section (...) four, from the complexity of economic interactions to the strategy of making markets fair in the only feasible way that they can be made fair, namely, by “patterning” their effects. Section five concludes by asking whether any scheme of this general type is a realistic form of utopianism for a society such as ours. (shrink)
Kant’s justification of possession appears to beg the question (petitio principii) by assuming rather than proving the legitimacy of possession. The apparent question-begging in Kant’s argument has been recapitulated or exacerbated but not resolved in the secondary literature. A detailed terminological, textual, and logical analysis of Kant’s argument reveals that he provides a sound justification of limited rights to possess and use things (qualified choses in possession), not of private property rights. Kant’s argument is not purely a priori; it (...) is in Kant’s Critical sense ‘metaphysical’ because it applies the pure a priori ‘Universal Principles of Right’ to the concept of finite rational human agency. The application of this principle implicitly involves a ‘Contradiction in Conception’ test. I explicate this test in detail and show, inter alia, how Kant’s argument relates to the modern natural law tradition. I further argue that Kant’s ‘Universal Principle of Right’ is justified by appeal to a fundamental principle of justification, the Principle of Mutual Acceptability. This justification also suggests that the debate between Kantians and Utilitarians about whether human ‘dignity’ is an incommensurable value is moot because Kant’s test of the Categorical Imperative need not appeal to ‘dignity’. Finally, I show that the limited rights to possession and use justified by Kant’s argument suffice for his social contract argument for the legitimacy of the state. (shrink)
I have argued in a number of writings that the philosophical part (though not the neurobiological part) of the traditional mind-body problem has a fairly simple and obvious solution: All of our mental phenomena are caused by lower level neuronal processes in the brain and are themselves realized in the brain as higher level, or system, features. The form of causation is.
Despite the fact that Davidson's theory of the causal relata is crucial to his response to the problem of mental causation - that of anomalous monism - it is commonly overlooked within discussions of his position. Anomalous monism is accused of entailing property epiphenomenalism, but given Davidson's understanding of the causal relata, such accusations are wholly misguided. There are, I suggest, two different forms of property epiphenomenalism. The first understands the term 'property' in an ontological sense, the (...) second in a linguistic sense. Anomalous monism cannot plausibly be accused of either. The first cannot legitimately be applied to anomalous monism as it is incompatible with Davidson's ontology. And accusations of predicate epiphenomenalism, although consistent with Davidson's ontology, are ungrounded regarding Davidson's anomalous monism. Philosophers of mind have mislocated the problem with Davidson's anomalous monism, which in fact lies with the implausible theory of the causal relata upon which it rests. (shrink)
This paper is divided into two main sections. The first articulates what I believe Strawson's position to be. I contrast Strawson's usage of 'physicalism' with the mainstream use. I then explain why I think that Strawson's position is one of property dualism and substance monism. In doing this, I outline his view and Locke's view on the nature of substance. I argue that they are similar in many respects and thus it is no surprise that Strawson actually holds a (...) view on the mind much like one plausible interpretation of Locke's position. Strawson's use of terminology cloaks this fact and he does not himself explicitly recognize it in his paper. In the second section, I outline some of Strawson's assumptions that he uses in arguing for his position. I comment on the plausibility of his position concerning the relation of the mind to the body compared with mainstream physicalism and various forms of dualism. Before embarking on the two main sections, in the remainder of this introduction, I very briefly sketch Strawson's view. (shrink)
We perceive colour, shape, sound and touch 'bound together' in a single experience. The following arguments about this binding phenomenon are raised: (1) The individual signals passing from neurone to neurone are not bound together, whether as elements of information or physically. (2) Within a single cell, binding in terms of bringing together of information is potentially feasible. A physical substrate may also be available. (3) It is therefore proposed that a bound conscious experience must be a property of (...) an individual cell, not of a group of cells. Since it is unlikely that one specific neurone is conscious, it is suggested that every neurone has a version of our consciousness, or at least some form of sentience. However absurd this may seem it appears to be consistent with the available evidence; arguably the only explanation that is. It probably does not alter the way we should expect to experience the world, but may help to explain the ways we seem to differ from digital computers and some of the paradoxes seen in mental illness. It predicts non-digital features of intracellular computation, for which there is already evidence, and which should be open to further experimental exploration. The arguments given may well prove flawed or the conclusion biologically or physically untenable, but the idea is raised for discussion not least because a formal demonstration that it is invalid may help to identify more fruitful avenues. (shrink)
Property dualism is enjoying a slight resurgence in popularity, these days; substance dualism, not so much. But it is not as easy as one might think to be a property dualist and a substance materialist. The reasons for being a property dualist support the idea that some phenomenal properties (or qualia) are as fundamental as the most basic physical properties; but what material objects could be the bearers of the qualia? If even some qualia require an adverbial (...) construal (if they are modifications of the thing that is conscious because of them, not properties of something else to which the subject of consciousness is related), then the property dualist can be driven to speculative forms of materialism none of which, at this point, looks more likely to be true than the more modest versions of emergent dualism defended by contemporary substance dualists. (shrink)
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. (shrink)
It is becoming increasingly clear that the deepest problems currently exercising philosophers of mind arise from an ill-begotten ontology, in particular, a mistaken ontology of properties. After going through some preliminaries, we identify three doctrines at the heart of this mistaken ontology: (P) For each distinct predicate, “F”, there exists one, and only one, property, F, such that, if “F” is applicable to an object a, then “F” is applicable in virtue of a’s being F. (U) Properties are universals, (...) not particulars. (D) Every property is either categorical or dispositional, but not both. We show how these doctrines influence current philosophical thinking about the mind, suggest and defend an alternative conception of properties, and indicate how this conception provides answers to two puzzles besetting contemporary philosophy of mind: the problem of mental causation and the problem of qualia. (shrink)
The moral justification of intellectual property is often called into question when placed in the context of pharmaceutical patents and global health concerns. The theoretical accounts of both John Rawls and Robert Nozick provide an excellent ethical framework from which such questions can be clarified. While Nozick upholds an individuals right to intellectual property, based upon its conformation with Lockean notions of property and Nozicks ideas of just acquisition and transfer, Rawls emphasizes the importance of basic liberties, (...) such as an individuals right to health, superceding such secondary rights as intellectual property rights. From a policy perspective, patent protection for pharmaceutical products necessarily entails the balancing of corporate intellectual property interests and public interests in healthcare. The moral dilemma that occurs when these two interests clash is not easily resolved. Aside from corporate and public interests, the state maintains an interest in creating and preserving policies that regulate the moral dilemma itself. This paper analyzes the economic and ethical factors surrounding the production and distribution of the anti-HIV medication, AZT. Potential policy implications and recommendations are also discussed. (shrink)
I attempt to rebut Dean Zimmerman's novel argument (2010), which he presents in support of substance dualism, for the conclusion that, in spite of its popularity, the combination of property dualism with substance materialism represents a precarious position in the philosophy of mind. I take issue with Zimmerman's contention that the vagueness of ‘garden variety’ material objects such as brains or bodies makes them unsuitable candidates for the possession of phenomenal properties. I also argue that the ‘speculative materialism’ that (...) is available to a substance materialist property dualist who abandons the identification of persons with such garden variety objects is significantly more attractive than Zimmerman allows. Although I do not attempt to refute its substance dualist rival, I conclude that the combination of property dualism with substance materialism can withstand Zimmerman's objections. (shrink)
A framework for representing a specific kind of emergent property instance is given. A solution to a generalized version of the exclusion argument is then provided and it is shown that upwards and downwards causation is unproblematical for that kind of emergence. One real example of this kind of emergence is briefly described and the suggestion made that emergence may be more common than current opinions allow.
Taxa and homologues can in our view be construed both as kinds and as individuals. However, the conceptualization of taxa as natural kinds in the sense of homeostatic property cluster kinds has been criticized by some systematists, as it seems that even such kinds cannot evolve due to their being homeostatic. We reply by arguing that the treatment of transformational and taxic homologies, respectively, as dynamic and static aspects of the same homeostatic property cluster kind represents a good (...) perspective for supporting the conceptualization of taxa as kinds. The focus on a phenomenon of homology based on causal processes (e.g., connectivity, activity-function, genetics, inheritance, and modularity) and implying relationship with modification yields a notion of natural kinds conforming to the phylogenetic-evolutionary framework. Nevertheless, homeostatic property cluster kinds in taxonomic and evolutionary practice must be rooted in the primacy of epistemological classification (homology as observational properties) over metaphysical generalization (series of transformation and common ancestry as unobservational processes). The perspective of individuating characters exclusively by historical-transformational independence instead of their developmental, structural, and functional independence fails to yield a sufficient practical interplay between theory and observation. Purely ontological and ostensional perspectives in evolution and phylogeny (e.g., an ideographic character concept and PhyloCode’s ‘individualism’ of clades) may be pragmatically contested in the case of urgent issues in biodiversity research, conservation, and systematics. (shrink)
Property-identical divine-command theory (PDCT) is the view that being obligatory is identical to being commanded by God in just the way that being water is identical to being H2O. If these identity statements are true, then they express necessary a posteriori truths. PDCT has been defended in Robert M. Adams (1987) and William Alston (1990). More recently Mark C. Murphy (2002) has argued that property-identical divine-command theory is inconsistent with two well-known and well-received theses: the free-command thesis and (...) the supervenience thesis. I show that Murphy's argument is vitiated by mistaken assumptions about the substitutivity of metaphysical identicals in contexts of supervenience. The free-command thesis and the supervenience thesis therefore pose no serious threat to PDCT. (Published Online August 11 2004). (shrink)
Physicalists about the mind are committed to claims about property identities. Following Kripke's well-known discussion, modal arguments have emerged as major threats to such claims. This paper argues that modal arguments can be resisted by adopting a counterpart theoretic account of modal claims, and in particular modal claims involving properties. Thus physicalists have a powerful motive to adopt non-Kripkean accounts of the metaphysics of modality and the semantics of modal expressions.
This paper uses two recentworks as a springboard for discussing theproper contours of intellectual propertyprotection. Professor Lessig devotes much ofThe Future of Ideas to demonstrating howthe expanding scope of intellectual propertyprotection threatens the Internet as aninnovation commons. Similarly, ProfessorLitman''s message in Digital Copyright isthat copyright law is both too complicated andtoo restrictive. Both authors contend that asa result of overprotecting individual rights,creativity is stifled and the vitality of theintellectual commons is in jeopardy. It isdifficult to evaluate the claims and policyprescriptions (...) of these books without someappreciation for the moral foundations ofintellectual property. The utility and labordesert theories remain the two most prominentin the Anglo-American tradition. Afterexploring those theories, we argue for a secureregime of protection based on the Lockeanvision that property rights are justly deservedas a reward for labor that creates value. However, as Locke''s famous proviso implies,even a natural property right is not absoluteand must be balanced by regard for the publicdomain. But a natural right cannot besacrificed simply to advance technologicalinnovation or to achieve marginal social andeconomic gains. While we agree with Lessig andLitman that recent legislation goes too far weconclude the essay by attempting to illustratethat some of their policy recommendations errin the opposite direction by underprotectingvalid property rights. (shrink)
Justifications for intellectual property rights are typically made in terms of utility or natural property rights. In this article, I justify limited regimes of copyright and patent grounded in no more than the rights to use our ideas and to contract, conjoined at times with a weak right to hold property in tangibles. I describe the Contracting Situation plausibly arising from vesting rational agents with these rights. I go on to consider whether in order to provide the (...) best protection for the voluntary activities and consensual interactions occurring within the Contracting Situation, it might be appropriate or even necessary to move to institutions qualitatively similar to copyright and patent. I conclude that in at least some circumstances limited regimes of copyright and patent may be defendable solely on the basis of these very basic rights. (shrink)
In this article I argue that, despite the views of such theorists as Locke, Hart and Raz, most of a person's property rights cannot be individualistically justified. Instead most property rights, if justified at all, must be justified on non-individualistic (e.g. consequentialist) grounds. This, I suggest, implies that most property rights cannot be morally fundamental ‘human rights’.
In this paper I interpret Newton’s speculative treatment of gravity as a relational, accidental property of matter that arises through what Newton calls “the shared action” of two bodies of matter. In doing so, I expand and extend on a hint by Howard Stein. However, in developing the details of my interpretation I end up disagreeing with Stein’s claim that for Newton a single body can generate a gravity/force field. I argue that when Newton drafted the first edition of (...) the Principia in the mid 1680s, he thought that (at least a part of) the cause of gravity is the disposition inherent in any individual body, but that the force of gravity is the actualization of that disposition; a necessary condition for the actualization of the disposition is the actual obtaining of a relation between two bodies having the disposition. The cause of gravity is not essential to matter because God could have created matter without that disposition. Nevertheless, at least a part of the cause of gravity inheres in individual bodies and were there one body in the universe it would inhere in that body. On the other hand, the force of gravity is neither essential to matter nor inherent in matter, because (to repeat) it is the actualization of a shared disposition. A lone part-less particle would, thus, not generate a gravity field. Seeing this allows us to helpfully distinguish among a) accepting gravity as causally real; b) the cause(s) (e.g. the qualities of matter) of the properties of gravity; c) making claims about the mechanism or medium by which gravity is transmitted. This will help clarify what Newton could have meant when he insisted that gravity is a real force. I present my argument in opposition to Andrew Janiak’s influential and fine 2007 paper. Along the way, I call attention to my disagreement with Janiak on a number of secondary issues (e.g. Janiak’s attribution to Newton of a distinction between ‘local’ and ‘distant’ action; Janiak’s reading of the “Letter to Bentley,” etc). (shrink)
This essay reviews six different approaches to intellectual property. It and argues that none of these accounts provide an adequate justification of intellectual property laws and policies because (1) there are many different types of intellectual property, and (2) a variety of incommensurable values play a role in the justification of intellectual property. The best approach to intellectual property is to assess and balance competing moral values in light of the particular facts and circumstances.
The evolution of property law is driven by an ongoing search for ways to internalize externalities: positive externalities associated with productive effort and negative externalities associated with misuse of commonly held resources. In theory, and sometimes in practice, costs are internalized over time. Increasingly, people pay for their own mistakes and misfortunes, and not for mistakes and misfortunes of others.
According to the partial identity account of resemblance, exact resemblance is complete identity and inexact resemblance is partial identity. In this paper, I examine Arda Denkel's (1998) argument that this account of resemblance is logically incoherent as it results in a vicious regress. I claim that although Denkel's argument does not succeed, a modified version of it leads to the conclusion that the partial identity account is plausible only if the constituents of every determinate property are ultimately quantitative in (...) nature. (shrink)
This paper examines the question whether, and to what extent, John Locke’s classic theory of property can be applied to the current debate involving intellectual property rights (IPRs) and the information commons. Organized into four main sections, Section 1 includes a brief exposition of Locke’s arguments for the just appropriation of physical objects and tangible property. In Section 2, I consider some challenges involved in extending Locke’s labor theory of property to the debate about IPRs and (...) digital information. In Section 3, it is argued that even if the labor analogy breaks down, we should not necessarily infer that Locke’s theory has no relevance for the contemporary debate involving IPRs and the information commons. Alternatively, I argue that much of what Locke has to say about the kinds of considerations that ought to be accorded to the physical commons when appropriating objects from it – especially his proviso requiring that “enough and as good” be left for others – can also be applied to appropriations involving the information commons. Based on my reading of Locke’s proviso, I further argue that Locke would presume in favor of the information commons when competing interests (involving the rights of individual appropriators and the preservation of the commons) are at stake. In this sense, I believe that Locke offers us an adjudicative principle for evaluating the claims advanced by rival interests in the contemporary debate about IPRs and the information commons. In Section 4, I apply Locke’s proviso in my analysis of two recent copyright laws: the Copyright Term Extension Act (CTEA), and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). I then argue that both laws violate the spirit of Locke’s proviso because they unfairly restrict the access that ordinary individuals have previously had to resources that comprise the information commons. Noting that Locke would not altogether reject copyright protection for IPRs, I conclude that Locke’s classic property theory provides a useful mechanism for adjudicating between claims about how best to ensure that individuals will be able to continue to access information in digitized form, while at the same time also allowing for that information to enjoy some form of legal protection. (shrink)
Intellectual property typically involves claims of ownership of types, rather than particulars. In this article I argue that this difference in ontology makes an important moral difference. In particular I argue that there cannot be an intrinsic moral right to own intellectual property. I begin by establishing a necessary condition for the justification of intrinsic moral rights claims, which I call the Rights Justification Principle. Briefly, this holds that if we want to claim that there is an intrinsic (...) moral right to φ, we must be able to show that (a) violating this right would typically result in either a wrongful harm or other significant wrong to the holder of the right, and (b) the wrongful harm or other wrong in question is independent of the existence of the intrinsic right we are trying to justify. I then argue that merely creating a new instance of a type is not the kind of action which can wrongfully harm the creator of that type. Insofar as there do seem to be wrongs involved in copying a published poem or computer program, these wrongs presuppose the existence of an intrinsic right to own intellectual property, and so cannot be used to justify it. I conclude that there cannot be an intrinsic right to own intellectual property. (shrink)
Defenders of strong intellectual property rights or of a non-utilitarian basis for those rights often turn to Locke for support. This paper criticizes that move. My major claim is twofold: on the one hand, intellectual property would be an almost paradigmatic case of Lockean property; on the other hand, Locke's provisos - specifically the widely neglected spoilage proviso - would sharply limit the scope of any entitlements. My secondary claim is accordingly be that the spoilage proviso's neglect (...) is undeserved, and that it deserves a more central place in our understanding of Locke. In the first part of the paper, I attempt to resurrect the spoilage proviso. Part 2 rereads Locke's texts to explain why intellectual property would be a paradigmatic case of Lockean property. Part 3 attempts a conceptual clarification of waste in Lockean terms. The final part applies this analysis to some contemporary IP issues: to certain uses of IP to control access, to deadweight loss due to monopoly pricing, and to the possibility of anticommons scenarios. Each of these can be seen as "waste" in the Lockean sense, and thus each offers a counterweight to strong IP claims made in Locke's name. (shrink)
Abstract: In this paper, I examine the current case against the second-order property view of existence through a discussion of Colin McGinn's up to date statement of this case. I conclude that the second-order property view of existence remains viable.
Many people take for granted an absolute conception of property rights. According to this conception, if I own a piece of property I have a moral right to do with it as I please, irrespective of the needs of others.This paper articulates an argument against this conception of property rights. First, it shows that there are many possible conceptions of property rights, and that there are significant differences among the models of ownership which have prevailed in (...) different societies. Then, it argues that there are decisive grounds to refuse to grant that property owners have a moral right to exercise absolute control over their property, and that ownership implies not only rights but also duties and limits. (shrink)
Philosophical reflection on intellectual property (IP) is still very young. Whilst much has been written by lawyers on intellectual property, the vast majority of this writing is philosophically unsophisticated. This paper aims to at least partially remedy this philosophical deficit by examining what reflection on the ontology of intellectual property can add to our understanding of how to regulate IP. I argue that ontological reflection should bring us to an important basic fact, namely that ownership of intellectual (...)property involves the ownership of types rather than tokens. This difference in the ontological status of the objects owned makes a normative difference to how we should regulate ownership of intellectual property as compared to tangible property. The argument falls into three main parts. I begin by arguing that the type-token distinction is the best way to account for the ontology of intellectual property. I next argue that the realisation that we are dealing with ownership of types rather than tokens has important normative implications. In particular some of the standard arguments in favour of private ownership of physical property simply do not apply in the case of ownership of types, whilst some other arguments apply only in an attenuated way. The next section examines the limitations of ontology as a guide to the regulation of IP. I argue that whilst thinking through the normative implications of the type-token distinction is a necessary 1 condition for a sound regulatory approach to IP, it is certainly not sufficient. This is because many of the specific questions about the regulation of intellectual property that matter most in practice—such as how long the patent term should be, or how much someone should be able to quote from a book and it count as fair use—are not answerable by ontological reflection. Such questions concern the fair distribution of the burdens and benefits involved in the construction of public goods, rather than questions of ontology.. (shrink)
This paper provides an account of the closure conditions that apply to sets of subvening and supervening properties, showing that the criterion that determines under which property-forming operations a particular family of properties is closed is applicable both to the finitary and to the infinitary case. In particular, it will be established that, contra Glanzberg, infinitary operations do not give rise to any additional difficulties beyond those that arise in the finitary case.
The article discusses an idea of how to extend the notion of rigidity to predicates, namely the idea that predicates stand in a certain systematic semantic relation to properties, such that this relation may hold rigidly or nonrigidly. The relation (which I call signification) can be characterised by recourse to canonical property designators which are derived from predicates (or general terms) by means of nominalization: a predicate signifies that property which the derived property designator designates. Whether signification (...) divides into rigid and non-rigid cases will then depend uponwhether canonical property designators divide into rigid and non-rigid ones. But, I shall argue, they do not, and so the only notion of rigidity gained this way is trivial. To show this, I first focus on the kind of canonical property designators which could be thought to be nonrigid, canonical designators such as having the colour of ripe tomatoes which themselves contain non-rigid property designators. An argument to the effect that such complex canonical designators are non-rigid is rebutted, five arguments to the effect that they are rigid are formulated, and finally an explanation of their rigidity based on the general nature of canonical property designators is presented. (shrink)
The aim of the present paper is to show that Hegel’s concept of personal respect is of great interest to contemporary Critical Theory. The author first analyzes this notion as it appears in the Philosophy of Right and then offers a new interpretation of the conceptual relation between personal respect and the institutions of (private) property and (capitalist) markets. In doing so, he shows why Hegel’s concept of personal respect allows us to understand markets as possible institutionalizations of this (...) kind of recognition, and why it is compatible with a critique of neoliberal capitalism. He argues that due to these features Hegel’s notion of personal respect is of great interest to theoreticians within the tradition of critical theory. (shrink)
This paper is about the relation between two metaphysical topics: the nature of properties, and way the instantiation of a property is sometimes “realized in” something more fundamental. It is partly an attempt to develop further, but also to correct, my earlier treatments of these topics. In my published work on realization, including my book Physical Realization, I was at pains to insist that acceptance of my view about this does not commit one to the causal theory of properties (...) I have defended in several places. I held that it commits one to the claim that within any given world, properties with the same causal profile are identical, but not to the requirement that a property must have the same causal profile in any world in which it can be instantiated. I now think that this was a mistake. There is an argument from the account of realization I have offered to the conclusion that, if physicalism is true, properties of macroscopic objects have their causal profiles essentially. In what follows I will present that argument.Along the way I will correct what now seem to me mistakes in my earlier presentationsof the account of realization. And I will conclude with an additional argument for the causal theory of properties, one that does not tie it to the assumption that physicalism is true or to my account of realization. (shrink)
Suppose libertarians could prove that durable, unqualified private property rights could be created through 'original acquisition' of unowned resources in a state of nature. Such a proof would cast serious doubt on the legitimacy of the modern state. It could also render the approach to property rights that I favour irrelevant. I argue here that none of the familiar Lockean-libertarian arguments for a strong natural right to acquisition succeed, and that any successful argument for grounding a right to (...) acquire would have to use my favoured approach to property rights - the 'vector-sum' approach. I conclude with some doubts about original acquisition theory and natural property rights. (shrink)
This book is both an introduction to and a research work on Meinongianism. “Meinongianism” is taken here, in accordance with the common philosophical jargon, as a general label for a set of theories of existence – probably the most basic notion of ontology. As an introduction, the book provides the first comprehensive survey and guide to Meinongianism and non-standard theories of existence in all their main forms. As a research work, the book exposes and develops the most up-to-date Meinongian theory (...) (called modal Meinongianism), applies it to specific fields, and discusses its open problems. The unifying focus of the work is a single, basic philosophical notion: the notion of existence. Each main theory of the notion available in philosophy is introduced via a detailed, self-contained exposition, and critically evaluated, with the original research emerging in the final Chapters. Part I of the book provides a historical introduction to, and critical discussion of, the dominant philosophical view of existence: the “Kantian-Fregean-Quinean” perspective. Part II is the full-fledged introduction to the Meinongian theories of existence as a real property of individuals: after starting with the so-called naïve Meinongian conception and its problems, it provides a self-contained presentation of the main neo-Meinongian proposals, and a detailed discussion of their strengths and weaknesses. Part III develops a specific neo-Meinongian theory of existence employing a model-theoretic semantic framework. It discusses its application to the ontology and semantics of fictional objects, and its open problems. The methodology of the book follows the most recent trends in analytic ontology. In particular, the meta-ontological point of view is largely privileged. (shrink)
“There is nothing which so generally strikes the imagination, and engages the affections of mankind, as the right of property; or that sole and despotic dominion which one man claims and exercises over the external things of the world, in total exclusion of the right of any other individual in the universe.” (Blackstone, p.
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. (shrink)
Sensibility, in any of its myriad realms – moral, physical, aesthetic, medical and so on – seems to be a paramount case of a higher-level, intentional property, not a basic property. Diderot famously made the bold and attributive move of postulating that matter itself senses, or that sensibility (perhaps better translated ‘sensitivity’ here) is a general or universal property of matter, even if he at times took a step back from this claim and called it a “supposition.” (...) Crucially, sensibility is here playing the role of a ‘booster’: it enables materialism to provide a full and rich account of the phenomena of conscious, sentient life, contrary to what its opponents hold: for if matter can sense, and sensibility is not a merely mechanical process, then the loftiest cognitive plateaus are accessible to materialist analysis, or at least belong to one and the same world as the rest of matter. This was noted by the astute anti-materialist critic, the Abbé Lelarge de Lignac, who, in his 1751 Lettres à un Amériquain, criticized Buffon for “granting to the body [la machine, a common term for the body at the time] a quality which is essential to minds, namely sensibility.” This view, here attributed to Buffon and definitely held by Diderot, was comparatively rare. If we look for the sources of this concept, the most notable ones are physiological and medical treatises by prominent figures such as Robert Whytt, Albrecht von Haller and the Montpellier vitalist Théophile de Bordeu. We then have, or so I shall try to sketch out, an intellectual landscape in which new – or newly articulated – properties such as irritability and sensibility are presented either as an experimental property of muscle fibers, that can be understood mechanistically (Hallerian irritability, as studied recently by Hubert Steinke and Dominique Boury) or a property of matter itself (whether specifically living matter as in Bordeu and his fellow montpelliérains Ménuret and Fouquet, or matter in general, as in Diderot). I am by no means convinced that it is one and the same ‘sensibility’ that is at issue in debates between these figures (as when Bordeu attacks Haller’s distinction between irritability and sensibility and claims that ‘his own’ property of sensibility is both more correct and more fundamental in organic beings), but I am interested in mapping out a topography of the problem of sensibility as property of matter or as vital force in mid-eighteenth-century debates – not an exhaustive cartography of all possible positions or theories, but an attempt to understand the ‘triangulation’ of three views: a vitalist view in which sensibility is fundamental, matching up with a conception of the organism as the sum of parts conceived as little lives (Bordeu et al.); a mechanist, or ‘enhanced mechanist’ view in which one can work upwards, step by step from the basic property of irritability to the higher-level property of sensibility (Haller); and, more eclectic, a materialist view which seeks to combine the mechanistic, componential rigour and explanatory power of the Hallerian approach, with the monistic and metaphysically explosive potential of the vitalist approach (Diderot). It is my hope that examining Diderot in the context of this triangulated topography of sensibility as property sheds light on his famous proclamation regarding sensibility as a universal property of matter. (shrink)
This paper challenges the view, commonly held inbiolaw and bioethics, that there can be no proprietaryrights in our own bodies or body parts. Whether thestarting point is the post-intervention informedconsent regime of Article 22 of the Convention ofHuman Rights and Biomedicine or the traditional(exclusionary) understanding of private property it isargued that property in our own bodies or body partsis presupposed. Although these arguments do notdemonstrate that there is property of this kind (forthat, a full-scale justification of the (...) institution ofprivate property would be required), they suggestnevertheless that the commonly held view has animmanent property logic that has not yet been drawnout or appreciated. (shrink)
Is there a problem of causal exclusion between micro- and macro-level physical properties? I argue (following Kim) that the sorts of properties thatin fact are in competition are macro properties, viz., the property of a (macro-) system of `having such-and-such macro properties'' (call this a `macro-structural property'') and the property of the same system of `being constituted by such-and-such a micro-structure'' (call this a `micro-structural property''). I show that there are cases where, for lack of reducibility, (...) there is a prima facie intra-level causal competition between the two kinds of properties. The problem can be resolved without giving up on the causal efficacy of the macro-structural properties if we understandinstances of macro-structural properties to be parts ofmicro-structural property instances. The parthood relation between both kinds of property instances can bemapped onto the way physical theory deals with the relation of their descriptionsin the framework of perturbation theory. The application of this framework to theproblem of emergent properties is discussed. (shrink)
Mental content and the problem of De Se belief -- Cognitive attitudes and content -- The doctrine of propositions -- The problem of De Se belief -- The property theory of content -- In favor of the property theory -- Perry's messy shopper and the argument from explanation -- Lewis's case of the two Gods -- Arguments from internalism and physicalism -- An inference to the best explanation -- Alternatives to the property theory -- The triadic view (...) of belief -- How the property theory and the triadic view are rivals -- Dyadic propositionalism reconsidered -- Arguments against the property theory -- Self-ascription and self-awareness -- Nonexistence and impossible contents -- Stalnaker's argument -- Propositionalist arguments from inference -- The property theory and De Re belief -- Lewis's account of De Re belief -- McKay's objection to Lewis -- Mistaken identity and the case of the shy secret admirer -- Some other worries and concluding remarks -- The property theory, rationality, and Kripke's puzzle about belief -- Kripke's puzzle about belief -- The puzzle argument -- A solution to the puzzle -- Puzzles with empty names and kind terms -- The property theory, twin earth, and belief about kinds -- Twin earth and two kinds of internalism -- The twin earth argument -- An internalist response (stage one) -- An internalist response (stage two) -- Self-ascription and belief about kinds. (shrink)
This paper argues that intellectual property rights are incompatible with Rawls’s principles of justice. This conclusion is based upon an analysis of the social stratification that emerges as a result of the patent mechanism which defines a marginalized group and ensure that its members remain alienated from the rights, benefits, and freedoms afforded by the patent product. This stratification is further complicated, so I argue, by the copyright mechanism that restricts and redistributes those rights already distributed by means of (...) the patent mechanism. I argue that the positions of privilege established through both the patent and the copyright mechanisms are positions that do not “allow the most extensive liberty compatible with a like liberty for all.” They do not “benefit the least advantaged.” Nor are they “open to all under conditions of fair equality of opportunity.” In making this argument I critically assess the utilitarian defense of intellectual property rights and find it insufficient to respond to the injustices manifest in our current arrangement for the protection of intellectual property rights. (shrink)
No one would deny that sustainability is necessary for individual, business, and national survival. How this goal is to be accomplished is a matter of great debate. In this article I will show that the United States and other developed countries have a duty to create sustainable cities, even if that is against a notion of private property rights considered as an absolute. Through eminent domain and regulation, developed countries can fulfill their obligations to current and future generations. To (...) do so, the governments must reject perfectly competitive free market capitalism and the absolute right to private property, and more fully adopt social welfare capitalism as their economic system. The result will be a sustainable society that balances democracy, individual rights and individual flourishing with the community’s flourishing. (shrink)
Chapter 5 of John Locke's Second Treatise, ‘Of Property,” is a text that undermines itself, stammering to an unresolved and irresolvable conclusion because the structure of conditions upon which most of its moral argument about private property is based cannot be stretched to encompass the sudden twist Locke tries to make at the end. The moral conditions by which Locke defines a virtuous private possession within God's gift of the world to all mankind in common resist being extended (...) to include an economy of money and limitless, unequal possession. The text comes to an end in total uncertainty, pointing simultaneously in two opposite directions. This paper explores just how deeply and hopelessly these distortions affect the text. (Published Online February 27 2006). (shrink)
In Max Blackâs Objection to MindâBody Identity, Ned Block seeks to offer a definitive treatment of property dualism arguments that exploit modes of presentation. I will argue that Blockâs central response to property dualism is confused. The property dualist can happily grant that mental modes of presentation have a hidden physical nature. What matters for the property dualist is not the hidden physical side of the property, but the apparent mental side. Once that âthinâ side (...) is granted, the property dualist has won. I conclude that although Block is wrong to think that the property dualist must argue for so-called thin mental properties, Block, and the physicalist, are able to resist property dualism. But any attempt to bolster this resistance and do more than dogmatically assert the crucial identity runs a serious risk of undermining the physicalism it is meant to save. (shrink)
Philosophers have given relatively little attention to the ethical issues surrounding the nature of intellectual property in spite of the fact that for the past ten years the public policy debate over "fair use" of copyrighted materials in higher education has been heating up. This neglect is especially striking since copyright ethics are at stake in so many aspects of academic life: the photocopying of materials for classroom use and scholarly work, access to electronic texts, and the cost and (...) availability of single-source information technology such as Dialogue, library card catalogues, the Oxford English Dictionary, and a variety of other print and electronic resources. Of course, the ethics of copyright are not only an issue for those of us in the business of education: recent allegations of copyright infringement by Texaco, which regularly photocopied articles from scientific and technical journals for its employees, suggests that questions about copyright ethics may arise regularly for every corporation and business. While the current lawsuit against Kinko's Copies(1) and Texaco may settle some public policy questions in the short run, the legal discourse on fair use depends upon competing ethical intuitions which are not likely to be resolved soon. (shrink)
Armstrong’s combinatorial theory of possibility faces the obvious difficulty that not all universals are compatible. In this paper I develop three objections against Armstrong’s attempt to account for property incompatibilities. First, Armstrong’s account cannot handle incompatibilities holding among properties that are either simple, or that are complex but stand to one another in the relation of overlap rather than in the part/ whole relation. Secondly, at the heart of Armstrong’s account lies a notion of structural universals which, building on (...) an objection by David Lewis, is shown to be incoherent. I consider and reject two alternative ways of construing the composition of structural universals in an attempt to meet Lewis’ objection. An important consequence of this is that all putative structural properties are in fact simple. Finally, I argue that the quasi-mereological account presupposes modality in a way that undermines the reductionist aim of the combinatorialist theory of which it is a central part. I conclude that Armstrong’ quasi-mereological account of property incompatibility fails. Without that account, however, Armstrong’s combinatorial theory either fails to get off the ground, or else must give up its goal of reducing the notion of possibility to something non-modal. (shrink)
Private property forms the bedrock of the business/society relationship in a market economy. In one way or another most societies limitwhat people can claim as property as well as theextent of claims they can make regarding it. In the international arena today intellectual property rights are a focal point of debate. Many developing countries do not recognize the monopoly claims of patents and copyrights asserted by business as legitimate. This paper reviews contemporary areas of dispute and then (...) presents the tasks facing the construction of a fair intellectual property rights regime. (shrink)
In this essay I distinguish between a synchronic view of base property exemplification and a diachronic one. I argue that only a diachronic view of base property exemplification can substantiate a ban on morally mixed worlds. I then argue that one of Robert Mabrito’s recent criticisms of Russ Shafer-Landau’s moral realism fails on either a synchronic or a diachronic view.
An argument against multiply instantiable universals is considered in neglected essays by Stanislaw Lesniewski and I.M. Bochenski. Bochenski further applies Lesniewski’s refutation of universals by maintaining that identity principles for individuals must be different than property identity principles. Lesniewski’s argument is formalized for purposes of exact criticism, and shown to involve both a hidden vicious circularity in the form of impredicative definitions and explicit self-defeating consequences. Syntactical restrictions on Leibnizian indiscernibility of identicals are recommended to forestall Lesniewski’s paradox.
In this paper, I argue that both perdurance theory and the ‘relations-to-times’ endurantist view rely on an atemporal notion of property instantiation and relation bearing. I distinguish two possible meanings of ‘atemporal’ which result in two different understandings of what it is for an object to have a property or to bear a relation atemporally. I show that standard presentations of the theories considered are indeterminate as to which of these two understandings is the intended one. I claim (...) that even if both understandings are admissible, one of them is more attractive and has more to recommend than the other. (shrink)
The cluster of concerns usually identified asmatters of privacy can be adequately accountedfor by unpacking our natural rights to life,liberty, and property. Privacy as derived fromfundamental natural rights to life, liberty,and property encompasses the advantages of thecontrol and restricted access theories withouttheir attendant difficulties.
Despite the currently perceived urgent need among contemporary philosophers of chemistry for adjudicating between two rival metaphysical conceptual frameworks—is chemistry primarily a science of substances or processes?—this essay argues that neither provides us with what we need in our attempts to explain and comprehend chemical operations and phenomena. First, I show the concept of a chemical property can survive the abandoning of the metaphysical framework of substance. While this abandonment means that we will need to give up essential properties, (...) contingent properties can give us all the stability we need to account for chemical continuity as well as change. I then go on to show that this attention to clusters of contingent properties does not force us into the arms of an alternative process metaphysical framework either. Finally, I sketch a view I call particularism with respect to chemical properties on analogy with moral particularism. I conclude by sketching some of the implications for the field of philosophy of chemistry of my proposal that we abandon our interest in the metaphysical question of what chemistry is primarily about in favor of a broadly scientific particularism with respect to kinds and properties. (shrink)