The Institution of Property

Social Philosophy and Policy 11 (2):42-62 (1994)

David Schmidtz
University of Arizona
The typical method of acquiring a property right involves transfer from a previous owner. But sooner or later, that chain of transfers traces back to the beginning. That is why we have a philosophical problem. How does a thing legitimately become a piece of property for the first time ? In this essay, I follow the custom of distinguishing between mere liberties and full-blooded rights. If I have the liberty of doing X , then it is permissible for me to do X . But the mere fact that I am at liberty to do X leaves open the possibility that you might be at liberty to interfere with my doing X . Accordingly, liberties are not full-blooded rights, since my having a right to do X has the additional implication that others are not at liberty to interfere with my doing X . When it comes to mere liberties, interference is not a violation. You can violate rights, but you cannot violate liberties
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DOI 10.1017/s0265052500004428
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References found in this work BETA

Anarchy, State, and Utopia.Robert Nozick - 1974 - Philosophy 52 (199):102-105.
The Realm of Rights.Carl Wellman - 1992 - Journal of Philosophy 89 (6):326-329.
Justice and the Initial Acquisition of Property.John T. Sanders - 1987 - Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy 10 (2):367-99.

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Classical Natural Law Theory, Property Rights, and Taxation.Edward Feser - 2010 - Social Philosophy and Policy 27 (1):21-52.
Is There a Human Right to Free Movement? Immigration and Original Ownership of the Earth.Michael Blake & Mathias Risse - 2009 - Notre Dame Journal of Law, Ethics and Public Policy 23 (133):166.
Property and Business.Bas Van Der Vossen - 2018 - In Eugene Heath, Byron Kaldis & Alexei Marcoux (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Business Ethics. Routledge. pp. 309-325.
The Libertarian Nonaggression Principle.Matt Zwolinski - 2016 - Social Philosophy and Policy 32 (2):62-90.

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