Canadian Journal of Philosophy 45 (1):37-57 (2015)

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Susan Moller Okin's critique of libertarianism in Justice, Gender, and the Family has received only slight attention in the libertarian literature. I find this neglect of Okin's argument surprising: The argument is straightforward and, if sound, it establishes a devastating conflict between the core libertarian notions of self-ownership and the acquisition of property through labour. In this paper, I first present a reconstruction of Okin's argument. In brief, she points out that mothers make children through their labour; thus it would seem that mothers own their children; but this implies that the children are not self-owners. I then examine the two most common objections to this argument in the literature: mothers do not make children, and acquisition by labour includes an exception for persons. I give several replies to each objection, including an extension of Okin's argument that I call Okin's dilemma. This dilemma argues that the libertarian can avoid Okin's conclusion only by requiring an..
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DOI 10.1080/00455091.2014.996118
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References found in this work BETA

Anarchy, State, and Utopia.Robert Nozick - 1974 - New York: Basic Books.
Anarchy, State, and Utopia.Robert Nozick - 1974 - Philosophy 52 (199):102-105.
An Essay on Rights.Hillel Steiner - 1994 - Oxford, Uk ;Blackwell.
Justice, Gender and the Family.Susan Moller Okin - 1989 - Hypatia 8 (1):209-214.

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Liberty, Gender, and the Family.Jennifer McKitrick - 2006 - In Tibor R. Machan (ed.), Liberty and Justice. Stanford: Hoover Institution Press. pp. 83-103.
Must the Family Be Just?Brian Penrose - 2000 - Philosophical Papers 29 (3):189-221.
Women in Western Political Thought.Susan Moller Okin - 1980 - Princeton University Press.

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