Makers' rights

The Journal of Ethics 2 (3):197-218 (1998)
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This paper examines the thesis that human labor creates property rights in or from previously unowned objects by virtue of labor's power to make new things. This thesis is considered for two possible roles: first, as a thesis to which John Locke might have been committed in his writings on property; and second, as a thesis of independent plausibility that could serve as part of a defensible contemporary theory of property rights. Understanding Locke as committed to the thesis of makers' rights has seemed to many of the best known recent Locke scholars to explain and unify Locke's various claims about property in a way that more traditional "labor-mixing" interpretations cannot. This paper argues that there is in fact no convincing evidence in Locke's texts to suggest any commitment to the thesis of makers' rights for humans.



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A. John Simmons
University of Virginia

Citations of this work

Justice and Attachment to Natural Resources.Chris Armstrong - 2013 - Journal of Political Philosophy 22 (1):48-65.
Labor as the Basis for Intellectual Property Rights.Bryan Cwik - 2014 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 17 (4):681-695.

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References found in this work

Property, self-government and consent. [REVIEW]James Tully - 1995 - Canadian Journal of Political Science 28 (1):105-132.

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