Cognitive Science 39 (1):184-198 (2015)

Ori Friedman
University of Waterloo
Understanding ownership rights is necessary for socially appropriate behavior. We provide evidence that preschoolers' and adults' judgments of ownership rights are related to their judgments of bodily rights. Four-year-olds and adults evaluated the acceptability of harmless actions targeting owned property and body parts. At both ages, evaluations did not vary for owned property or body parts. Instead, evaluations were influenced by two other manipulations—whether the target belonged to the agent or another person, and whether that other person approved of the action. Moreover, these manipulations influenced judgments for owned objects and body parts in the same way: When the other person approved of the action, participants' judgments were positive regardless of who the target belonged to. In contrast, when that person disapproved, judgments depended on who the target belonged to. These findings show that young children grasp the importance of approval or consent for ownership rights and bodily rights, and likewise suggest that people's notions of ownership rights are related to their appreciation of bodily rights
Keywords Moral cognition  Bodily rights  Social cognition  Cognitive development  Ownership rights  Domain‐specificity  Autonomy
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/cogs.12154
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 63,319
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

The Principles of Psychology.William James - 1890 - Dover Publications.
Leviathan.Thomas Hobbes - 1651 - Harmondsworth, Penguin.
Are There Any Natural Rights?H. L. A. Hart - 1955 - Philosophical Review 64 (2):175-191.

View all 20 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Self-Ownership.Peter Vallentyne - 2001 - In Laurence Becker & Charlotte Becker (eds.), Encyclopedia of Ethics, 2nd edition. Garland Publishing.
Legal Rights in Human Bodies, Body Parts and Tissue.Loane Skene - 2007 - Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 4 (2):129-133.
Intrinsic Limitations of Property Rights.J. M. Elegido - 1995 - Journal of Business Ethics 14 (5):411 - 416.
Different Types—Different Rights.Barbro Björkman - 2007 - Science and Engineering Ethics 13 (2):221-233.
Ownership and Justice for Animals.Alasdair Cochrane - 2009 - Utilitas 21 (4):424-442.
Human Rights and Human Well-Being.William Talbott - 2010 - Oxford University Press.
The Objects of Bodily Awareness.John Schwenkler - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 162 (2):465-472.
Property and Rights.Jan Narveson - 2010 - Social Philosophy and Policy 27 (1):101-134.
A Dilemma for Libertarianism.Karl Widerquist - 2009 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 8 (1):43-72.
On Global Justice.Mathias Risse - 2012 - Princeton University Press.
Justice, Fairness, and World Ownership.Cécile Fabre - 2002 - Law and Philosophy 21 (3):249-273.


Added to PP index

Total views
31 ( #351,158 of 2,448,695 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #302,300 of 2,448,695 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes