This paper defends the BlockianProviso against its critics, Kinsella in particular, and interprets it as a law of non-contradiction in the theory of just property rights. I demonstrate that one may not lawfully appropriate in such a way as to forestall others from appropriating an unowned land because such appropriation would result in conflict-generating norms, and conflict-generating norms are not rationally justifiable and just norms. The BlockianProviso, which precludes forestalling, operates therefore at the level (...) of original appropriation and determines, according to the homestead principle of justice in first acquisition, what may and what may not be lawfully appropriated. Hence, the BlockianProviso is not an add-on to the homestead principle but part and parcel thereof. (shrink)
The present paper investigates the question of whether right-libertarians must accept easements by necessity. Since easements by necessity limit the property rights of the owner of the servient tenement, they apparently conflict with the libertarian homestead principle, according to which the person who first mixes his labor with the unowned land acquires absolute ownership thereof. As we demonstrate in the paper, however, the homestead principle understood in such an absolutist way generates contradictions within the set of rights distributed on its (...) basis. In order to avoid such contradictions, easements by necessity must be incorporated into the libertarian theory of property rights and the homestead principle must be truncated accordingly. (shrink)
A libertarian theory of justice holds that persons are self-owners and have the Hohfeldian moral power to justly acquire property rights in initially unowned external resources. Different variants of libertarianism can be distinguished according to their stance on the famous Lockean proviso. The proviso requires, in Locke’s words, to leave ‘enough and as good’ for others, and thus specifies limits on the acquisition of property. Left-libertarians accept an egalitarian interpretation of the proviso, ‘right-libertarians’ either reject any kind (...) of proviso or accept rather weak versions of it. In be-tween there is room for moderate interpretations of the proviso, and in particular for a sufficientarian interpretation: a ‘sufficiency proviso.’ The resulting theory of justice can be called ‘moderate libertarianism.’ In this article I make a case for moderate libertarianism, so understood. I argue that moderate libertarianism has advantages over both left- and right-libertarianism because it better coheres with the most plausible rationale for endorsing a libertarian theory of justice in the first place. (shrink)
A private property account is central to a liberal theory of justice. Much of the appeal of the Lockean theory stems from its account of the so-called `enough-and-as-good' proviso, a principle which aims to specify each employable person's fair share of the earth's material resources. I argue that to date Lockeans have failed to show how the proviso can be applied without thereby undermining a guiding intuition in Lockean theory. This guiding intuition is that by interacting in accordance (...) with the proviso persons interact as free and equal, or as reciprocally subject to the `laws of nature' rather than as subject to one another's arbitrary will. Because Locke's own and contemporary Lockean conceptions of the proviso subject some persons to some other persons' arbitrary will, the proviso so conceived cannot function as it should, namely as a principle that restricts interacting persons' actions reciprocally and thereby enables Lockean freedom under law. (shrink)
Several theories of presupposition projection predict that some sentences which intuitively yield unconditional presuppositions should have weaker, conditional ones. For instance, If John is realistic, he knows that he is incompetent is predicted to have the presupposition that if John is realistic, he is incompetent, whereas one certainly infers that John is in fact incompetent. We summarize some difficulties faced by three solutions, DRT, Singh’s ‘Formal Alternatives’, and Singh’s ‘Interacting Alternatives’; we then offer a new analysis which is compatible with (...) several semantic theories of projection, and which does not require the addition of a new representational module. In essence, we obtain unconditional inferences by assuming that speakers may ignore certain parts of a sentence when they accommodate a presupposition—presumably to simplify their computational work. They do so by adding to the context an assumption that would satisfy the presupposition of the sentence no matter which meaning some of its elements have. Depending on which elements are ignored in this way, a variety of strengthened presuppositions are obtained. We speculate on a possible mechanism (which follows some of Singh’s earlier ideas) to determine which of these strengthened inferences are in fact obtained. The analysis correctly predicts some new instances of the Proviso Problem in quantificational examples. (shrink)
Does intellectual property satisfy the requirements of the Lockean proviso, that the appropriator leave “enough and as good” or that he at least not “deprive others”? If an author's appropriation of a work he has just created is analogous to a drinker “taking a good draught” in the flow of an inexhaustible river, or to someone magically “causing springs of water to flow in the desert,” how could it not satisfy the Lockean proviso?
Left and right libertarians alike are attracted to the thesis of self-ownership because, as Eric Mack says, they ‘believe that it best captures our common perception of the moral inviolability of persons’. Further, most libertarians, left and right, accept that some version of the Lockean Proviso restricts agents’ ability to acquire worldly resources. The inviolability of SO purports to make libertarianism more appealing than its egalitarian counterparts, since traditional egalitarian theories cannot straightforwardly explain why, e.g. forced organ donation and (...) forced labor are serious wrongs even when they generate more equitable outcomes or benefit the greater good. I argue that, when SO is coupled with LP, this appeal is unfounded. SO, as usually construed, allows for the possibility of justified incursions of non-culpable agents up to and including forced organ donation. I conclude by considering a few possible responses on behalf of the libertarian, assessing each one’s plausibility. (shrink)
Matt Zwolinski argues that libertarians “should see the Basic Income Guarantee (BIG)—a guarantee that all members will receive income regardless of why they need it—as an essential part of an ideally just libertarian system.” He regards the satisfaction of a Lockean proviso—a stipulation that individuals may not be rendered relevantly worse off by the uses and appropriations of private property—as a necessary condition for a private property system’s being just. BIG is to be justified precisely because it prevents (...) class='Hi'>proviso violations. We deem Zwolinski’s argument a “Direct Proviso-Based Argument” for BIG. We argue that because this sort of argument for the BIG is in tension with other principles libertarians within the Lockean tradition hold dear, specifically prohibitions on seizing legitimately held property and forcing individuals to labor, the Direct Proviso-Based Argument fails. (shrink)
I argue in this paper that Locke and contemporary Lockeans underestimate the problems involved in their frequent, implicit assumption that when we apply the proviso we use the latest scientific knowledge of natural resources, technology, and the economy’s operations. Problematic for these theories is that much of the pertinent knowledge used is obtained through particular persons’ labor. If the knowledge obtained through individuals’ labor must be made available to everyone and if particular persons’ new knowledge affects the proviso’s (...) proper application, then some end up without freedom to pursue their own ends and some find their freedom subject to others’ arbitrary will. (shrink)
This paper explores the implications of libertarianism for welfare policy. There are two central arguments. First, the paper argues that if one adopts a libertarian framework, it makes most sense to be a Lockean right-libertarian. Second, the paper argues that this form of libertarianism leads to the endorsement of a fairly extensive set of redistributive welfare programs. Specifically, the paper argues that Lockean right-libertarians are committed to endorsing welfare programs under which the receipt of benefits is conditional on meeting a (...) work requirement, and also endorsing some form of publicly funded jobs of last resort for potential welfare recipients. (shrink)
Interpreters of Robert Nozick’s political philosophy fall into two broad groups concerning his application of the ‘Lockean proviso’. Some read his argument in an undemanding way: individual instances of ownership which make people worse off than they would have been in a world without any ownership are unjust. Others read the argument in a demanding way: individual instances of ownership which make people worse off than they would have been in a world without that particular ownership are unjust. While (...) I argue that the former reading is correct as an interpretive matter, I suggest that this reading is nonetheless highly demanding. In particular, I argue that it is demanding when it is expanded to include the protection of nonhuman animals; if such beings are right bearers, as more and more academics are beginning to suggest, then there is no nonarbitrary reason to exclude them from the protection of the proviso. (shrink)
Ecological refugees are expected to make up an increasing percentage of overall refugees in the coming decades as predicted climate change related disasters will displace millions of people. In this essay, I focus on those rights ecological refugees may claim on the basis of collective self-determination. To this end, I will focus on a few specific cases that I call cases of ‘ecological refugee states’. Tuvalu, the Maldives, and to a certain extent, Bangladesh are predicted to be ecological refugee states (...) in the near future. These are states whose entire (or close to it) geographical territory is predicted to be lost to rising sea levels; the collective body of the people will itself become an ecological refugee.The question is: what may the people of an ecological refugee state legitimately claim on the basis of their right to self-determination? Should we redraw state borders to accommodate a New Tuvalu? I argue that a plausible position regarding territorial rights is that when (1) a people clearly is (or recently was) self-determining and has a legitimate claim to continue to be self-determining, and (2) the self-determination of a people is existentially threatened because the people lacks territorial rights, that (3) the people becomes a candidate for sovereign over a new territory. The result is that existing state borders may need to change to accommodate something like a New Tuvalu. To generate these results on behalf of ecological refugee states, I examine the principles of the system of territorial states. Because the system of territorial states is a system of exclusive rights over goods, especially land, it is possible that it is subject to the conditions of a Lockean proviso mechanism. This paper is dedicated mainly to adapting a version of the Lockean proviso for use in territorial rights theory. (shrink)
In this essay I propose to explicate and defend a new and improved version of a Lockean proviso—the self-ownership proviso . I shall presume here that individuals possess robust rights of self-ownership. I shall take it that each individual has strong moral claims over the elements which constitute her person, e.g., her body parts, her talents, and her energies. However, in the course of the essay, I shall be challenging what I take to be the standard conception of (...) self-ownership and proposing an enrichment of that conception. The SOP is presented and in part justified as an implication of the right of self-ownership as it is more richly conceived—hence its designation as the self-ownership proviso. As an implication of the right of self-ownership which is also compatible, in theory and practice, with extensive and robust private property rights, the SOP is offered as an integral element of classical-liberal political theory. (shrink)
Locke's defense of private property rights includes what is called a proviso— "the Lockean proviso"—and some have argued that in terms of it the right to private property can have various exceptions and it may not even be unjust to redistribute wealth that is privately owned. I argue that this cannot be right because it would imply that one's right to life could also have various exceptions, so anyone's life (and labor) could be subject to conscription if some (...) would need it badly enough. Since this could amount to enslavement and involuntary servitude, it would be morally and legally unacceptable. Key Words: rights • John Locke • Lockean proviso • scarcity. (shrink)
Defenders of strong Intellectual Property rights or of a nonutilitarian basis for those rights often turn to Locke for support.1 Perhaps because of a general belief that Locke is an advocate of all things proprietary, this move seldom receives careful scrutiny. That is unfortunate for two reasons. First, as I will argue, Locke does not issue a blank check in support of all property regimes, and the application of his reasoning to intellectual property would actually tend to favor a substantially (...) limited rights regime. Second, the attempt to understand intellectual property as an instance of Lockean property, though admittedly anachronistic, offers an opportunity to further our understanding of Locke's own thought. My major claim will be twofold: on the one hand, intellectual property would be an almost paradigmatic case of Lockean property; on the other hand, Locke's provisos—specifically the widely neglected spoilage proviso—would sharply limit the scope of any entitlements. My secondary claim will accordingly be that the spoilage proviso's neglect is undeserved, and that it deserves a more central place in our understanding of Locke. I will not here address whether Locke provides the right way to think about property, whether IP is a good idea, or whether property rights ought to include a right to destroy; my concern is to elucidate Locke's arguments and then to block this application of them. (shrink)
: Fabian Wendt proposes combining libertarian foundations with a proviso that requires a just system of private property to ensure that everyone has a sufficient amount of resources to pursue projects. He calls this proviso a sufficiency proviso. This proviso is said to have advantages over all rival provisos “because it better coheres with the ….
Recently, Eric Mack, Edward Feser, and Daniel Russell have argued that self-ownership justifies a constraint on the use of property such that an owner’s use of property may not severely negate the ability of others to interact with the world. Mack has labeled this constraint the self-ownership proviso. Adopting this proviso promises right-libertarians a way of avoiding the extreme implications of a no-proviso view, while maintaining a consistent and cohesive position. Nevertheless, I argue that self-ownership cannot ground (...) the constraint on property use that Mack, Feser, and Russell think that it can. (shrink)
Libertarian justice arguably permits much that is harsh. It might plausibly be thought to generate only minimal obligations on the part of present people toward future generations. This turns out not to be so, at least on Nozick's version of libertarian justice, which is among the most thoroughly worked-out versions. Nozickian justice generates extensive obligations to future people. This provides an indirect argument for environmentalist policies such as resource conservation and wilderness preservation. The basis for these obligations is Nozick's use (...) of Locke's proviso, which is spelled out using the notion of the baseline. This paper explains how the extensive obligations are implied by the core ideas of Nozickian justice. There is also a discussion of some of the difficulties involved in understanding the notion of the baseline. However, these difficulties do not destroy the theoretical basis for obligations to future generations contained within Nozickian justice. Provided that libertarian justice involves some such device as Locke's proviso the enforcement of substantial environmentalist policies comes within the ambit of the libertarian minimal state. (shrink)
: Critics of Nozick have claimed that his formulation of the Lockean proviso is too permissive to serve as a morally plausible constraint on resource acquisition. In this essay, I advance a new critique of Nozick’s entitlement theory. In particular, I argue that even on his own permissive formulation of the Lockean proviso, he faces ….
Libertarians have long been divided over how best to interpret the Lockean proviso, which requires that one leave “enough and as good” in common for others after one’s appropriation. This article sheds light on this exegetical question in relation to its qualitative part through a contextual analysis of Locke’s often neglected writings on ….
: In a recent essay, “Forcing Nozick Beyond the Minimal State: The Lockean Proviso and Compensatory Welfare,” I argue that Nozick’s own reading of the Lockean Proviso commits him to a welfare state. In a forceful response, Jan Narveson calls my argument into question by arguing for an especially austere reading of the Lockean Proviso as ….
Many women today prepare for a big meeting by reading a stack of folders and applying lipstick. They order their male colleagues around, then wait for those same men to help them on with their coats. They have higher-status jobs than some of the men they date, yet they never call men socially or ask them out. What's going on? Why such seemingly contradictory behaviors? Have women completely failed feminism--or has feminism failed them? In The Lipstick Proviso , Karen (...) Lehrman--hailed by the New York Times as the "sharpest" of the new feminist thinkers--shows that women today are failing neither feminism nor themselves. Rather, they've entered a new stage of feminism, one in which the personal is not political, differences between the sexes need to be respected, and courtship, chivalry, and the nuclear family don't have to be jettisoned just because they existed before the sixties. Thirty years after the women's movement liberated women from narrowly defined roles, Lehrman argues, we are finally beginning to see which traditionally feminine behaviors are more deeply rooted in biology and which are more heavily influenced by culture. Lehrman asserts that the result--whatever it is--will not undermine feminism as long as women still retain equal rights, opportunities, and responsibilities. Dispensing with the outdated notion of sisterhood, Lehrman offers women a "lipstick proviso": women don't have to sacrifice their complex individuality in order to be equal. As the first book to move beyond a critique of orthodox feminism, The Lipstick Proviso sets a radically new course for the future of the women's movement. While there's still much political work to be done, Lehrman argues that women should now focus on the personal sides of their lives. Women can't rightly be called autonomous if they stay with abusive or even emotionally challenged lovers; say "yes" to sex when they really mean "no"; overeat or undereat to hide their sexuality. With wit and grace, Karen Lehrman offers in The Lipstick Proviso a way to complete the feminist revolution, and clearly establishes herself as the definitive voice of the next generation of feminism. (shrink)
Recent debate in the literature on political obligation about the principle of fairness rests on a mistake. Despite the widespread assumption to the contrary, a person can have a duty of fairness to share in the burdens of sustaining some cooperative scheme even though that scheme does not represent a net benefit to her. Recognizing this mistake allows for a resolution of the stalemate between those who argue that the mere receipt of some public good from a scheme can generate (...) a duty of fairness and those who argue that only some voluntary action of consent or acceptance of the good can generate such a duty. I defend a version of the principle of fairness that holds that it is the person’s reliance on a scheme for the provision of some product or service that generates duties of fairness to share in the burdens of sustaining the scheme. And, on this version, the principle of fairness is politically significant: regardless of whether the citizen has a duty to obey the law, she will still have important political duties of fairness generated by her reliance on the various public goods provided by those society-wide cooperative schemes sustained by the sacrifices of her fellow citizens. (shrink)
While Rawls himself put contractualism to work at the national level, his more cosmopolitan followers have argued that the full requirements of international justice can be reached only by way of a global contractualist argument. Both positions neglect a resource from within the contractualist tradition, The need for iteration of the nation-level contract gives rise to strong and reasonably definite moral requirements. A good-faith adoption of the contractual argument entails, first, a duty to assist those whose potential recourse to just (...) arrangements is blocked by tyranny or political collapse. Second, understood as a net risk-reducing project, a nation-level contract entails a duty not to impede the iterated risk-reduction projects of other national soceties. Envisaging the duty in this contractualist way avoids problems that beset both "natural duty" and "interactionist" approaches to international justice. The non-impedance requirement bears especially on international economic arrangements. The institutional representation of those affected by such arrangements would connect this abstract requirement with practical conclusions. (shrink)
The Proviso Problem is the discrepancy between the predictions of nearly every major theory of semantic presupposition about what is semantically presupposed by conditionals, disjunctions, and conjunctions, versus observations about what speakers of certain sentences are felt to be presupposing. I argue that the Proviso Problem is a more serious problem than has been widely recognized. After briefly describing the problem and two standard responses to it, I give a number of examples which, I argue, show that those (...) responses are inadequate. I conclude by briefly exploring alternate approaches to presupposition that avoid this problem. -/- . (shrink)
Two recent and influential papers, van Rooij 2007 and Lassiter 2012, propose solutions to the proviso problem that make central use of related notions of independence—qualitative in the first case, probabilistic in the second. We argue here that, if these solutions are to work, they must incorporate an implicit assumption about presupposition accommodation, namely that accommodation does not interfere with existing qualitative or probabilistic independencies. We show, however, that this assumption is implausible, as updating beliefs with conditional information does (...) not in general preserve independencies. We conclude that the approach taken by van Rooij and Lassiter does not succeed in resolving the proviso problem. (shrink)
I propose a new theory of semantic presupposition, which I call dissatisfaction theory. I first briefly review a cluster of problems − known collectively as the proviso problem − for most extant theories of presupposition, arguing that the main pragmatic response to them faces a serious challenge. I avoid these problems by adopting two changes in perspective on presupposition. First, I propose a theory of projection according to which presuppositions project unless they are locally entailed. Second, I reject the (...) standard assumption that presuppositions are contents which must be entailed by the input context; instead, I propose that presuppositions are contents which are marked as backgrounded. I show that, together, these commitments allow us to avoid the proviso problem altogether, and generally make plausible predictions about presupposition projection out of connectives and attitude predicates. I close by sketching a two-dimensional implementation of my theory which allows us to make further welcome predictions about attitude predicates and quantifiers. (shrink)
Sufficientarian libertarianism is a theory of justice that combines libertarianism’s focus on property rights and non-interference with sufficientarianism’s concern for the poor and needy. Persons are conceived as having stringent rights to direct their lives as they see fit, provided that everyone has enough to live a self-guided life. Yet there are different ways to combine libertarianism and sufficientarianism and hence different types of sufficientarian libertarianism. In the article I present and discuss three types, and I argue that the last (...) one overcomes the problems of the other two. The first type combines libertarianism with a sufficiency principle in what is sometimes called the ‘ethics of distribution’. The second incorporates modest welfare rights into a libertarian theory of justice. The third endorses a sufficientarian Lockean proviso for practices of private property within a libertarian theory of justice. I argue that it is superior to the others. (shrink)
This paper examines the question whether, and to what extent, John Locke’s classic theory of property can be applied to the current debate involving intellectual property rights (IPRs) and the information commons. Organized into four main sections, Section 1 includes a brief exposition of Locke’s arguments for the just appropriation of physical objects and tangible property. In Section 2, I consider some challenges involved in extending Locke’s labor theory of property to the debate about IPRs and digital information. In Section (...) 3, it is argued that even if the labor analogy breaks down, we should not necessarily infer that Locke’s theory has no relevance for the contemporary debate involving IPRs and the information commons. Alternatively, I argue that much of what Locke has to say about the kinds of considerations that ought to be accorded to the physical commons when appropriating objects from it – especially his proviso requiring that “enough and as good” be left for others – can also be applied to appropriations involving the information commons. Based on my reading of Locke’s proviso, I further argue that Locke would presume in favor of the information commons when competing interests (involving the rights of individual appropriators and the preservation of the commons) are at stake. In this sense, I believe that Locke offers us an adjudicative principle for evaluating the claims advanced by rival interests in the contemporary debate about IPRs and the information commons. In Section 4, I apply Locke’s proviso in my analysis of two recent copyright laws: the Copyright Term Extension Act (CTEA), and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). I then argue that both laws violate the spirit of Locke’s proviso because they unfairly restrict the access that ordinary individuals have previously had to resources that comprise the information commons. Noting that Locke would not altogether reject copyright protection for IPRs, I conclude that Locke’s classic property theory provides a useful mechanism for adjudicating between claims about how best to ensure that individuals will be able to continue to access information in digitized form, while at the same time also allowing for that information to enjoy some form of legal protection. (shrink)
In this note, we reconstruct some results of the DRT analysis of presupposition projection within the theory of local contexts of Schlenker (2009). The latter offered a way to annotate every sentence with variables that denote the various local context sets that play a crucial role in Heim’s satisfaction theory (Heim 1983). In standard satisfaction theories, a presupposition must be entailed by its local context. Here we allow a presupposition to be indexed with other local contexts, and we propose, following (...) van der Sandt (1992) and Zeevat (1992), that presuppositions are preferably anaphoric to the highest possible context. The resulting analysis emulates some desirable results of DRT—notably its solution to the ‘Proviso Problem’ (Geurts 1999). But it arguably improves on DRT in some respects: it can generate genuine conditional presuppositions; and it yields more adequate results for some quantified examples. Several limitations of the theory—some of them quite severe—are also discussed. (shrink)
This symposium paper for the APA analyzes Locke's labor theory of property acquisition as a formal argument – or set of alternative arguments – and shows how several of them are indeed sound, if appropriately limited by what amounts to a social welfare proviso. That proviso is, however, strong enough to limit the acquisition of private property in a significant way. The argument here anticipates fuller and more decisive ones in later work by the same author.
State of nature theories have a long history and play a lively role in contemporary work. Theories of this kind share certain nontrivial commitments. Among these are commitments to inclusion of a Lockean proviso among the principles of justice and to an assumption of invariance of political principles across changes of circumstances. In this article I want to look at those two commitments and bring to light what I believe are some important difficulties they engender. For nonpattern state of (...) nature theories, the justness of a society is marked by the conformance of the society to procedural principles. Distributions of resources and the like have no particular import for questions of justice. Whatever may later result, so long as it came about in accordance with the rules determined by the principles of justice, is itself just. The Lockean proviso is one of the principles of justice governing property and other rights of nonpattern theories of justice. The proviso hangs as a "shadow" over the results of the operation of the other (usual) principles of justice. It is intended to remedy a complaint which arises when the positions of those no longer at liberty to use some resource are worsened (1) by no longer being able to use freely what they previously were free to use and (2) in such a way that they fall below a "baseline." Following Locke, a traditional formulation of the proviso is to allow acquisition just so long as there is "enough and as good" left over for others. Section I concerns the relation of the Lockean proviso to pattern and nonpattern principles of justice, demonstrating that a Lockean proviso turns a nonpattern into a pattern theory of justice. Section II is about the relation of the Lockean proviso to the ideas revealed by an examination of a state of nature, suggesting reasons to reject ideal theories of justice. (shrink)
According to the negative principle of appropriation a person can acquire an unowned resource if doing so respects a certain condition (the Lockean proviso). Contrary to some views, a proviso of this sort is not incompatible with libertarianism. Moreover, no unilateral powers of acquisition can fail to consider the impact on the interests of others. Hence, a doctrine of appropriation must incorporate such a proviso. However, the several interpretations such a proviso can take on various dimensions (...) will be either implausible as a way of taking into consideration the interests of others, or unable to generate the kind and extent of property rights libertarians typically endorse. (shrink)
Gauthier's version of the Lockean proviso (in Morals by Agreement) is inappropriate as the foundation for moral rights he takes it to be. This is so for a number of reasons. It lacks any proportionality test thus allowing arbitrarily severe harms to others to prevent trivial harms to oneself. It allows one to inflict any harm on another provided that if one did not do so, someone else would. And, by interpreting the notion of bettering or worsening one's position (...) in terms of subjective expected utility, it allows immoral manipulation of others and imposes unwarranted restrictions based on preferences that should carry no moral weight. (shrink)
The meaning of welfare and the conditions for making it sustainable seemingly are related. This is at least a common idea in current discussions with the implicit assumption that conditions conducive to general welfare improvements also will secure certain sustainability objectives. In this chapter, we challenge this by way of a conceptual analysis of welfare, focused on its descriptive adequacy. Although there are different substantial theories about welfare, they all have to account for its subject-relative nature: individual welfare is whatever (...) is good for an individual from their own point of reference. Sustainability, on the other hand, is the normative requirement that economic growth and development must not be pursued to the detriment of geographically and temporally distant others. With these clarifications of relevant concepts, we provide a tentative argument against certain ‘win-win arguments’ of ‘sustainable welfare’. To respect the sustainability proviso means leaving some sources of welfare untapped, which, although it does not guarantee a decrease, neither assures an increase in welfare. We end by introducing the concept of social capital as an alternative way of accommodating the sustainability proviso. This would imply balancing individual sacrifices in welfare with mobilisation of social capital for the collective good of sustainability. (shrink)
Although John Locke’s theory of appropriation is undoubtedly influential, no one seems to agree about exactly what he was trying to say. It is unlikely that someone will write the interpretation that effectively ends the controversy. Instead of trying to find the one definitive interpretation of Locke’s property theory, this article attempts to identify the range of reasonable interpretations and extensions of Lockean property theory that exist in the contemporary literature with an emphasis on his argument for unilateral appropriation. It (...) goes through Locke’s argument point-by-point discussing the controversy over what he said and over what he perhaps should have said to make the most valuable and coherent argument. The result is an outline of Lockean theories of property: a menu of options by which one might use appropriation to justify property rights. Supporters only need to pick the version they find most plausible, but opponents should be aware of the entire menu. Anyone claiming to refute appropriation-based property rights must address not only one but all potentially valid versions of it. (shrink)
This article argues the following points. The Hobbesian hypothesis, which we define as the claim that all people are better off under state authority than they would be outside of it, is an empirical claim about all stateless societies. It is an essential premise in most contractarian justifications of government sovereignty. Many small-scale societies are stateless. Anthropological evidence from them provides sufficient reason to doubt the truth of the hypothesis, if not to reject it entirely. Therefore, contractarian theory has not (...) done what it claims to do: it has not justified state sovereignty to each person subject to it by demonstrating that they benefit from that authority. To be justified in contractarian terms, states have to do something to improve the living standards of disadvantaged people under their rule. (shrink)
The task of this paper is to clarify the notion of pluralism and religious pluralism against the background of disputations on the globalized challenges of religious pluralism, for example the incompatibility between different conceptions of religious pluralism, especially from the lens of a possible conversation on religious pluralism between Jürgen Habermas and Emmanuel Levinas. With a detailed reading into the development of the conceptualization of religious pluralism in each author, addressing the questions such as what is genuine pluralism and on (...) what ground the conflicts within religious pluralism can be re-accounted, we make our passage from challenging the total reliance on political unification by the effort of Habermas, towards adopting a Levinasian alternative path that prioritizes ethical relation over individual ways of plurality in the realization of each one’s good life. Even though it can be acknowledged that Habermas raised the right question against the relativism way of seeing pluralism, it is by Levinas, the ontological ground of pluralism and the universal dimension of the plural are thought not only through justice and politics but more importantly, through a way of responding to the non-familiar tradition with love, where human religion has a single dimension that is the transcendental notion of charity and love. (shrink)
Self-Ownership, Freedom and Equality is G.A. Cohens attempt to rescue something of the socialist outlook on society from the challenge of libertarianism, which Cohen identifies with the work of Robert Nozick in his famous book, Anarchy, State, and Utopia. Sympathizing with the leading idea that a person must belong to himself, and thus be unavailable for forced redistribution of his efforts, Cohen is at pains to reconcile the two. This cannot be done – they are flatly contrary. Moreover, equality is (...) a nonsense principle, calling for such things as equal distribution of natural resources. But resources, as goods, are not natural: all require work to utilize. The only thing exchanged on markets is services, and estimates of value received are relevantly made only by those party to the exchanges in question. Imposition from above on voluntary exchange can only be socially counterproductive. (shrink)
Libertarians concede that non-autonomous sentient beings pose a problem for their theory. But, while they acknowledge that libertarianism denies non-autonomous sentient beings basic moral rights, libertarians have overlooked how their theory also denies non-autonomous sentient beings basic moral powers. In this article, I show how the libertarian entitlement theory of justice, specifically, the theory for the original acquisition of holdings, denies non-autonomous sentient beings the moral power to originally acquire or make property. Attempts to avoid this problem by appealing to (...) interests or preference autonomy are likely to be unsuccessful. (shrink)