Two Challenges to the Idea of Intellectual Property

The Monist 93 (3):382-394 (2010)

Laura Biron
University of Kent at Canterbury
Although the expression 'intellectual property' is widely used, it could be argued that the very idea of intellectual property is incoherent. After all, ideas are not like land, houses or clothing; surely they are not the sorts of things that can be owned? I shall examine two arguments - one ontological, one jurisprudential - that put pressure on the coherence of the idea of intellectual property, both leading to the conclusion that intellectual property rights are not genuine property rights, but rights to monopolies. In setting up and responding to the first argument, I discuss the applicability of the type/ token distinction to intellectual property law; a distinction I also appeal to as a way of clarifying my response to the second argument
Keywords Analytic Philosophy  Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest  Philosophy of Mind  Philosophy of Science
Categories (categorize this paper)
ISBN(s) 0026-9662
DOI 10.5840/monist201093322
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 38,992
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

How (Un)Fair is Intellectual Property?Axel Gosseries - 2008 - In Gosseries Axel, Marciano A. & Strowel A. (eds.), Intellectual Property and Theories of Justice. Basingstoke & N.Y.: Palgrave McMillan.


Added to PP index

Total views
69 ( #103,750 of 2,319,682 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
3 ( #446,517 of 2,319,682 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature