Politically Motivated Property Damage

The Harvard Review of Philosophy 28:89-106 (2021)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Can politically inspired property damage or destruction be justified? This question is hardly of mere academic interest, in light of recent political protests in Hong Kong, the USA, and elsewhere. Against some contemporary writers, I argue that placing property damage under an open-ended rubric of uncivil disobedience does not generate the necessary conceptual and normative distinctions. Drawing on Martin Luther King, Jr., I instead argue that property damage should not be equated or conflated with violence against persons; it also takes a variety of quite different forms. Anyone hoping to pursue politically motivated property damage should meet preconditions whose stringency will be determined by a key question: Do their acts generate or at least plausibly relate to violence against persons? Our answer to the question provide some space for legitimate, politically motivated property damage. Although some theories of property resist the strict delineation of violence to persons from property damage I defend, they fail to capture the realities of property ownership in existing societies, including the USA and, as such, do not undermine my defense, under existing conditions, of limited property damage.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 86,441

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

“Political disobedience and the climate emergency”.William E. Scheuerman - 2021 - Philosophy and Social Criticism 48 (6):791-812.
Grading Arson.Michael T. Cahill - 2009 - Criminal Law and Philosophy 3 (1):79-95.
a Politically Viable Aspiration?Thad Williamson - 2012 - In T. Williamson (ed.), Property-Owning Democracy: Rawls and Beyond. Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 287.
Justice and the Initial Acquisition of Property.John T. Sanders - 1987 - Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy 10 (2):367-99.
What Does Politically Correct Mean?Dong Leshan - 1997 - Chinese Studies in Philosophy 28 (3):40-43.
Mathias absoluteness and the Ramsey property.Lorenz Halbeisen & Haim Judah - 1996 - Journal of Symbolic Logic 61 (1):177-194.
Reinterpreting Property.Margaret Jane Radin - 1996 - University of Chicago Press.


Added to PP

58 (#235,536)

6 months
16 (#96,205)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Citations of this work

“Political disobedience and the climate emergency”.William E. Scheuerman - 2021 - Philosophy and Social Criticism 48 (6):791-812.

Add more citations

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references