Original-Acquisition Justifications of Private Property

Social Philosophy and Policy 11 (2):63-84 (1994)

Authors
A. John Simmons
University of Virginia
Abstract
My aim in this essay is to explore the nature and force of “original-acquisition” justifications of private property. By “original-acquisition” justifications, I mean those arguments which purport to establish or importantly contribute to the moral defense of private property by: offering a moral/historical account of how legitimate private property rights for persons first arose ; offering a hypothetical or conjectural account of how justified private property could arise from a propertyless condition; or simply defending an account of how an individual can make private property in some previously unowned thing . The “original acquisition” to which such justifications centrally refer, then, may be either the first instance of legitimate private property in human history , or only the first legitimate acquisition of some particular thing . But in either case, the justification will involve or entail the defense of one or more moral principles specifying how unowned things can become privately owned — that is, the defense of the kind of principles Robert Nozick has called “principles of justice in acquisition.”
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DOI 10.1017/s026505250000443x
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References found in this work BETA

The Realm of Rights.Judith Jarvis Thomson - 1990 - Journal of Philosophy 89 (6):326-329.
Two Treatises of Government.H. A. L., John Locke, Robert Filmer & Thomas I. Cook - 1948 - Journal of Philosophy 45 (10):272.
The Natural Right to the Means of Production.Hillel Steiner - 1977 - Philosophical Quarterly 27 (106):41-49.
Aboriginal Property and Western Theory: Recovering a Middle Ground.James Tully - 1994 - Social Philosophy and Policy 11 (2):153-180.

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