This book articulates and defends Fregean realism, a theory of properties based on Frege's insight that properties are not objects, but rather the satisfaction conditions of predicates. Robert Trueman argues that this approach is the key not only to dissolving a host of longstanding metaphysical puzzles, such as Bradley's Regress and the Problem of Universals, but also to understanding the relationship between states of affairs, propositions, and the truth conditions of sentences. Fregean realism, Trueman suggests, ultimately leads to a version (...) of the identity theory of truth, the theory that true propositions are identical to obtaining states of affairs. In other words, the identity theory collapses the gap between mind and world. This book will be of interest to anyone working in logic, metaphysics, the philosophy of language or the philosophy of mind. (shrink)
This collection of essays by one of the country's leading property theorists revitalizes the liberal personality theory of property. Departing from traditional libertarian and economic theories of property, Margaret Jane Radin argues that the law should take into account nonmonetary personal value attached to property—and that some things, such as bodily integrity, are so personal they should not be considered property at all. Gathered here are pieces ranging from Radin's classic early essay on property (...) and personhood to her recent works on governmental "taking" of private property. Margaret Jane Radin is professor of law at Stanford University. She is the author of over twenty-five articles on legal and political theory. (shrink)
_Property Rights: Philosophic Foundations,_ first published in 1977, comprehensively examines the general justifications for systems of private property rights, and discusses with great clarity the major arguments as to the rights and responsibilities of property ownership. In particular, the arguments that hold that there are natural rights derived from first occupancy, labour, utility, liberty and virtue are considered, as are the standard anti-property arguments based on disutility, virtue and inequality, and the belief that justice in distribution must (...) take precedence over private ownership. Lawrence Becker goes on to contend that there are four sound lines of argument for private property that, together with what is sound in the anti-property arguments, must be co-ordinated to form the foundations of a new theory. He therefore expounds a concise but sophisticated theory of property that is relevant to the modern world, and concludes by indicating some of the implications of his theory. (shrink)
The point of departure of David Ellerman's paper is that the role of labour in economics can be looked at in a fundamentally different way than has typically been the case. The paper's purpose is, therefore, oppositional. However, it cannot simply be dismissed. It is clearly articulated, well reasoned, and most importantly, thought provoking. It requires one to rethink how one conceives some basic issues in economics. As such, one does not need to be entirely convinced by the argument to (...) consider it worthy of dissemination. At the same time, if one subscribes to the ethic of structured or critical pluralism one must also consider the pressure points of the argument (see Dow, 2004; Dobusch and Kapeller, 2012). Below, I briefly reconstruct Ellerman's core claims and provide some comment on that argument. Read David Ellerman's paper "The Labour Theory of Property and Marginal Productivity Theory". (shrink)
All organised bodies are composed of parts, similar to those composing inorganic nature, and which have even themselves existed in an inorganic state; but the phenomena of life, which result from the juxtaposition of those parts in a certain manner, bear no analogy to any of the effects which would be produced by the action of the component substances considered as mere physical agents. To whatever degree we might imagine our knowledge of the properties of the several ingredients of a (...) living body to be extended and perfected, it is certain that no mere summing up of the separate actions of those elements will ever amount to the action of the living body itself. (shrink)
It has been maintained by such philosophers as Quine and Goodman that purely ‘extensional’ language suffices for all the purposes of properly formalized scientific discourse. Those entities that were traditionally called ‘universals’ — properties, concepts, forms, etc. — are rejected by these extensionalist philosophers on the ground that ‘the principle of individuation is not clear’. It is conceded that science requires that we allow something tantamount to quantification over non-particulars (or, anyway, over things that are not material objects, not space-time (...) points, not physical fields, etc.), but, the extensionalists contend, quantification over sets serves the purposes nicely. The ‘ontology’ of modern science, at least as Quine formalizes it, comprises material objects (or, alternatively, space-time points), sets of material objects, sets of sets of material objects,... but no properties, concepts,or forms. Let us thus examine the question: Can the principle of individuation for properties ever be made clear? (shrink)
After Marx, dissenting economics almost always used 'the labour theory' as a theory of value. This paper develops a modern treatment of the alternative labour theory of property that is essentially the property theoretic application of the juridical principle of responsibility: impute legal responsibility in accordance with who was in fact responsible. To understand descriptively how assets and liabilities are appropriated in normal production, a 'fundamental myth' needs to be cleared away, and then the market mechanism of appropriation (...) can be understood. On the normative side, neoclassical theory represents marginal productivity theory as showing that (a metaphorical version of) the imputation principle is satisfied ('people get what they produce') in competitive enterprises. Since that shows the moral commitment of neoclassical economics to the imputation principle, the labour theory of property is presented here as the actual non-metaphorical application of the imputation principle to property appropriation. The property-theoretic analysis at the firm level shows how the neoclassical (and much heterodox) analysis in terms of 'distributive shares' wholly misframed the basic questions. Finally, the paper shows how the imputation principle (modernised labour theory of property) is systematically violated in the present wage labour system of renting persons. The paper can be seen as taking up the recent challenge posed by Donald Katzner for a dialogue between neoclassical and heterodox microeconomics. (shrink)
Properties and objects are everywhere, but remain a philosophical mystery. Douglas Ehring argues that the idea of tropes--properties and relations understood as particulars--provides the best foundation for a metaphysical account of properties and objects. He develops and defends a new theory of trope nominalism.
Revised and reprinted in Handbook of Philosophical Logic, volume 10, Dov Gabbay and Frans Guenthner (eds.), Dordrecht: Kluwer, (2003). -- Two sorts of property theory are distinguished, those dealing with intensional contexts property abstracts (infinitive and gerundive phrases) and proposition abstracts (‘that’-clauses) and those dealing with predication (or instantiation) relations. The first is deemed to be epistemologically more primary, for “the argument from intensional logic” is perhaps the best argument for the existence of properties. This argument is presented (...) in the course of discussing generality, quantifying-in, learnability, referential semantics, nominalism, conceptualism, realism, type-freedom, the first-order/higher-order controversy, names, indexicals, descriptions, Mates’ puzzle, and the paradox of analysis. Two first-order intensional logics are then formulated. Finally, fixed-point type-free theories of predication are discussed, especially their relation to the question whether properties may be identified with propositional functions. (shrink)
Revised and reprinted; originally in Dov Gabbay & Franz Guenthner (eds.), Handbook of Philosophical Logic, Volume IV. Kluwer 133-251. -- Two sorts of property theory are distinguished, those dealing with intensional contexts property abstracts (infinitive and gerundive phrases) and proposition abstracts (‘that’-clauses) and those dealing with predication (or instantiation) relations. The first is deemed to be epistemologically more primary, for “the argument from intensional logic” is perhaps the best argument for the existence of properties. This argument is presented (...) in the course of discussing generality, quantifying-in, learnability, referential semantics, nominalism, conceptualism, realism, type-freedom, the first-order/higher-order controversy, names, indexicals, descriptions, Mates’ puzzle, and the paradox of analysis. Two first-order intensional logics are then formulated. Finally, fixed-point type-free theories of predication are discussed, especially their relation to the question whether properties may be identified with propositional functions. (shrink)
Drawing on empirical evidence from history and anthropology, we aim to demonstrate that there is room for genealogical ideology critique within normative political theory. The test case is some libertarians’ use of folk notions of private property rights in defence of the legitimacy of capitalist states. Our genealogy of the notion of private property shows that asking whether a capitalist state can emerge without violations of self-ownership cannot help settling the question of its legitimacy, because the notion of (...) private property presupposed by that question is a product of the entity it is supposed to help legitimise: the state. We anchor our genealogical critique in recent work on ideology in epistemology and philosophy of language, and in current debates on the methodology of political theory. But, unlike more traditional approaches that aim to debunk whole concepts or even belief systems, we propose a more targeted, argument-specific form of ideology critique. (shrink)
Since the publication of David Lewis's ''New Work for a Theory of Universals,'' the distinction between properties that are fundamental – or perfectly natural – and those that are not has become a staple of mainstream metaphysics. Plausible candidates for perfect naturalness include the quantitative properties posited by fundamental physics. This paper argues for two claims: (1) the most satisfying account of quantitative properties employs higher-order relations, and (2) these relations must be perfectly natural, for otherwise the perfectly natural properties (...) cannot play the roles in metaphysical theorizing as envisaged by Lewis. (shrink)
It is becoming increasingly clear that the deepest problems currently exercising philosophers of mind arise from an ill-begotten ontology, in particular, a mistaken ontology of properties. After going through some preliminaries, we identify three doctrines at the heart of this mistaken ontology: (P) For each distinct predicate, “F”, there exists one, and only one, property, F, such that, if “F” is applicable to an object a, then “F” is applicable in virtue of a’s being F. (U) Properties are universals, (...) not particulars. (D) Every property is either categorical or dispositional, but not both. We show how these doctrines influence current philosophical thinking about the mind, suggest and defend an alternative conception of properties, and indicate how this conception provides answers to two puzzles besetting contemporary philosophy of mind: the problem of mental causation and the problem of qualia. (shrink)
A comprehensive analysis of the theories of property developed by four key figures in classical German philosophy that explores such central questions as the nature of property, what specific forms of property are justifiable and whether property rights ought to be respected or limited in the name of freedom.
Foreword -- Acknowledgements -- Preface -- 1. Introduction -- 2. The concept of Dharma in Purvamīmāmsā -- 3. Dharma as in Buddhism and Jainism -- 4. Dharma as in Mahabharata -- 5. Dharma : the essential properties of man -- 6. Some problems along with critical remarks -- Bibliography -- Index.
In discussions of perception and its relation to knowledge, it is common to distinguish what one comes to believe on the basis of perception from the distinctively perceptual basis of one's belief. The distinction can be drawn in terms of propositional contents: there are the contents that a perceiver comes to believe on the basis of her perception, on the one hand; and there are the contents properly attributed to perception itself, on the other. Consider the content.
I argue that the best scientific package is anti-Humean in its ontology, but Humean in its laws. This is because potencies and the best system account of laws complement each other surprisingly well. If there are potencies, then the BSA is the most plausible account of the laws of nature. Conversely, if the BSA is the correct theory of laws, then formulating the laws in terms of potencies rather than categorical properties avoids three serious objections: the mismatch objection, the impoverished (...) worlds objection, and the metaphysical 'oomph' objection. I argue that combining anti-Humean properties with Humean laws into a Potency-Best System Account of Laws is a powerful and science-friendly account---something that people on both sides should be able to appreciate. (shrink)
Metaphysical grounding is often presented as a relation of directed dependence analogous to causation. The relationship between causation, properties, and laws of nature is hotly debated. I ask: what is the relationship between grounding, properties, and laws of metaphysics? I begin by considering the grounding analogue of Humean quidditism. Finding it implausible, I turn to the primitive-laws account of grounding, recently defended by Jonathan Schaffer and others. I argue this view is also unsatisfactory. I then present several possible dispositionalist-like accounts (...) and characterize the notion of a power to ground. I argue for three important conclusions: (i) each property essentially confers grounding powers; (ii) non-fundamental properties can be defined structurally in a particular sense, elucidating the claim that they are ‘nothing over and above’ the fundamental; and (iii) fundamental properties play a central role in grounding the grounding facts. Finally, it is significant that, combined with a causal powers-account of causal explanation, the door is open to a unified account of the metaphysics of causation and grounding: both flow from the natures of fundamental properties. (shrink)
A theory of property needs to give an account of the whole life-cycle of a property right: how it is initiated, transferred, and terminated. Economics has focused on the transfers in the market and has almost completely neglected the question of the initiation and termination of property in normal production and consumption (not in some original state or in the transition from common to private property). The institutional mechanism for the normal initiation and termination of (...) class='Hi'>property is an invisible-hand function of the market, the market mechanism of appropriation. Does this mechanism satisfy an appropriate normative principle? The standard normative juridical principle is to assign or impute legal responsibility according to de facto responsibility. It is given a historical tag of being "Lockean" but the basis is contemporary jurisprudence, not historical exegesis. Then the fundamental theorem of the property mechanism is proven which shows that if "Hume's conditions" (no transfers without consent and all contracts fulfilled) are satisfied, then the market automatically satisfies the Lockean responsibility principle, i.e., "Hume implies Locke." As a major application, the results in their contrapositive form, "Not Locke implies Not Hume," are applied to a market economy based on the employment contract. It is shown the production based on the employment contract violates the Lockean principle (all who work in an employment enterprise are de facto responsible for the positive and negative results) and thus Hume's conditions must also be violated in the marketplace (de facto responsible human action cannot be transferred from one person to another—as is readily recognized when and employer and employee together commit a crime). (shrink)
From a pre-publication review by the late Austrian economist, Don Lavoie, of George Mason University: -/- "The book's radical re-interpretation of property and contract is, I think, among the most powerful critiques of mainstream economics ever developed. It undermines the neoclassical way of thinking about property by articulating a theory of inalienable rights, and constructs out of this perspective a "labor theory of property" which is as different from Marx's labor theory of value as it is from (...) neoclassicism. It traces roots of such ideas in some fascinating and largely forgotten strands of the history of economics. It draws attention to the question of "responsibility" which neoclassicism has utterly lost sight of. It is startlingly fresh in its overall approach, and unusually well written in its presentation. ... It constitutes a better case for its economic democracy viewpoint than anything else in the literature." . (shrink)
Emergence is a notorious philosophical term of art. A variety of theorists have appropriated it for their purposes ever since George Henry Lewes gave it a philosophical sense in his 1875 Problems of Life and Mind. We might roughly characterize the shared meaning thus: emergent entities (properties or substances) ‘arise’ out of more fundamental entities and yet are ‘novel’ or ‘irreducible’ with respect to them. (For example, it is sometimes said that consciousness is an emergent property of the brain.) (...) Each of the quoted terms is slippery in its own right, and their specifications yield the varied notions of emergence that we discuss below. There has been renewed interest in emergence within discussions of the behavior of complex systems and debates over the reconcilability of mental causation, intentionality, or consciousness with physicalism. (shrink)
The traditional Lockean justification of property rights has been argued to be no longer valid in a world in which much wealth does not derive from acquisitions of natural resources, and in which much property, such as money, is intangible. This means that libertarians need to reconsider whether and why property rights are justified for objects that fall outside of the scope of the Lockean justification. This paper gives a justification of property rights in relation to (...) modern money, which uses the self-ownership principle as its central premise. Since modern money is a form of credit, I start with a justification of credit property rights. I then consider both money under gold convertibility and present-day fiat systems, showing that the justification of credit property rights remains valid under these conditions. (shrink)
'There is much food for thought in McGinn's discussions and each chapter is rich with a series of considerations for thinking that the currently received views on the various topics have some serious difficulties that need confronting... For those interested in metaphysics and the philosophy of logic, this book will stimulate much further thought' -Mind 'The sweep of the book is broad and the pace is brisk... There is much material here to provide the basis for many a deep philosophical (...) discussion' -Mind 'Lucid and provocative little book... clear, direct and well argued' -Times Higher Education SupplementIdentity, existence, predication, necessity, and truth are fundamental philosophical concerns. Colin McGinn treats them both philosophically and logically, aiming for maximum clarity and minimum pointless formalism. He contends that there are real logical properties that challenge naturalistic metaphysical outlooks. These concepts are not definable, though we can say a good deal about how they work. The aim of Logical Properties is to bring philosophy back to philosophical logic. (shrink)
New developments in biotechnology radically alter our relationship with our bodies. Body tissues can now be used for commercial purposes, while external objects, such as pacemakers, can become part of the body. Property in the Body: Feminist Perspectives transcends the everyday responses to such developments, suggesting that what we most fear is the feminisation of the body. We fear our bodies are becoming objects of property, turning us into things rather than persons. This book evaluates how well-grounded this (...) fear is, and suggests innovative models of regulating what has been called 'the new Gold Rush' in human tissue. This is an up-to-date and wide-ranging synthesis of market developments in body tissue, bringing together bioethics, feminist theory and lessons from countries that have resisted commercialisation of the body, in a theoretically sophisticated and practically significant approach. (shrink)
First published in 1997, this book discusses the interplaying factors environmental issues have on justice and property and other social problems. Endeavouring create a discourse on what sustainability means in implementation, each of the contributors to this book approaches this via different theoretical viewpoints.
The property theory of musical works says that each musical work is a property that is instantiated by its occurrences, that is, the work's performances and playings. The property theory provides ontological explanations very similar to those given by its popular cousin, the type/token theory of musical works, but it is both simpler and stronger. However, type/token theorists often dismiss the property theory. In this essay, I formulate a version of the property theory that identifies (...) each type (thus, each musical work) with a unique property. I then scrutinize the arguments offered for thinking that types, including musical works, are distinct from properties. I respond that no such argument is forceful and conclude that the property theory of musical works is superior to the type/token theory. (shrink)
It is argued that, because of scientific essentialism, two currently popular arguments against the mind-body identity thesis -- the multiple-realizability argument and the Nagel-Jackson knowledge argument -- are unsatisfactory as they stand and that their problems are incurable. It is then argued that a refutation of the identity thesis in its full generality can be achieved by weaving together two traditional Cartesian arguments -- the modal argument and the certainty argument. This argument establishes, not just the falsity of the identity (...) thesis, but also the metaphysical possibility of disembodiment. (shrink)
Any system for the protection of intellectual property rights (IPRs) has three main kinds of distributive effects. It will determine or influence: (a) the types of objects that will be developed and for which IPRs will be sought; (b) the differential access various people will have to these objects; and (c) the distribution of the IPRs themselves among various actors. What this means to the area of pharmaceutical research is that many urgently needed medicines will not be developed at (...) all, that the existing medicines will not be suitable for countries with a precarious health infrastructure or not target the disease variety that is prevalent in poorer regions. Such effects are commonly captured under the rubric of the “10/90 gap” in biomedical research. High prices will also restrict access to medicines as well endanger compliance to treatment schemes. IPRs are mainly held by multinational corporations situated in the developed world, which not only raises egalitarian concerns, but also severely limits the possibilities of companies in poorer countries to realize improvements on existing inventions, as they cannot financially afford to secure freedom to operate, which systematically shrinks the number of potential innovators. Those inequities lead to an enormous burden for the global poor and since no institution is willing to assume the responsibility to fulfil the right to health and the corresponding right of access to essential medicines, we have to analyse alternatives or additions to the actual intellectual property regimes in order to create new incentives to fill this gap. (shrink)
Any comprehensive discussion of property must draw on a range of disciplines - philosophy, politics, economics, and legal theory - and must address a number of fundamental questions: What is the nature of ownership, and should there be limits on the rights that attend it? Should property be held privately or in common, or should some combination of these two types of ownership prevail? To what extent does the legitimacy of a system of property depend on considerations (...) of economic efficiency or distributive justice? The essays in this volume examine these questions, as well as other important issues, from a variety of perspectives. Some explore the theory of original acquisition; others deal with the concept of self-ownership; still others look at legal or constitutional issues. (shrink)
This book contributes to the feminist reconstruction of political theory. Although many feminist authors have pointed out the ways in which women have been property, they have been less successful in suggesting how women might become the subjects rather than the objects of property-holding. This book synthesises political theory from liberal, Marxist, Kantian and Hegelian traditions, applying these ideas to history and social policy.
A private property right is a collection of particular rights that relate to the control of an object. The ground for such moral rights rests on the value of project pursuit. It does so because the individual ownership of particular objects is intimately related to the formation and application of a coherent set of projects that are the major parts of a self-shaped life. Problems arise in explaining how unowned property is appropriated. Unilateral acts with regard to an (...) object, e.g., mixing in one’s labor into it, probably don’t ground particular rights to private property. Nor do bilateral contracts since a stable pre-institutional contract with regard to appropriation is not likely to form. However, a conventional method of appropriation can allow for such appropriation while at the same time preserving the pre-institutional nature of such rights. This theory can also account for a person’s property rights in her own body. However, the value of project formation requires that persons have at least some private property that is to serve as the object of their projects. These positive rights to property undermine the libertarian claim that all non-commitment-based rights are negative. However, a further empirical argument is needed in order to justify protecting these positive moral rights to private property by positive legal rights. (shrink)
The interpretation of Lewis‘s doctrine of natural properties is difficult and controversial, especially when it comes to the bearers of natural properties. According to the prevailing reading – the minimalist view – perfectly natural properties pertain to the micro-physical realm and are instantiated by entities without proper parts or point-like. This paper argues that there are reasons internal to a broadly Lewisian kind of metaphysics to think that the minimalist view is fundamentally flawed and that a liberal view, according to (...) which natural properties are instantiated at several or even at all levels of reality, should be preferred. Our argument proceeds by reviewing those core principles of Lewis‘s metaphysics that are most likely to constrain the size of the bearers of natural properties: the principle of Humean supervenience, the principle of recombination in modal realism, the hypothesis of gunk, and the thesis of composition as identity. (shrink)
This chapter defends the property dualism argument. The term “semantic premise” mentioned is used to refers to an assumption identified by Brian Loar that antiphysicalist arguments, such as the property dualism argument, tacitly assume that a statement of property identity that links conceptually independent concepts is true only if at least one concept picks out the property it refers to by connoting a contingent property of that property. It is argued that, the property (...) that does the work in explaining the possibility of a posteriori identities need not be a first-order property of the referent in question. On his view, the property dualism argument requires only a weaker semantic premise, which allows that the property in question be a higher order property. A refined version of the property dualism argument is formulated, which uses the weaker premise, and defends the argument against various objections. (shrink)
Powers are popularly assumed to be distinct from, and dependent upon, inert qualities, mainly because it is believed that qualities have their nature independently of other properties while powers have their nature in virtue of a relation to distinct manifestation property. George Molnar and Alexander Bird, on the other hand, characterize powers as intrinsic and relational. The difficulties of reconciling the characteristics of being intrinsic and at the same time essentially related are illustrated in this paper and it is (...) argued that the reasons for thinking of powers as essentially relational are based on misguided epistemological consideration. Finally, I present a way of thinking of fundamental properties as primitive natures that we can only understand in virtue of what they do but which we should not think of as being ontologically constituted by these doings. According to this view, properties are both qualities and powers. (shrink)
Intentionalism is the view that the phenomenal character of an experience is wholly determined by its representational content is very attractive. Unfortunately, it is in conflict with some quite robust intuitions about the possibility of phenomenal spectrum inversion without misrepresentation. Faced with such a problem, there are the usual three options: reject intentionalism, discount the intuitions and deny that spectrum inversion without misrepresentation is possible, or find a way to reconcile the two by dissolving the apparent conflict. Sydney Shoemaker's (1994) (...) introduction of appearance properties is a particularly ingenious way of pursuing the third strategy, by maintaining that there is a representational difference between the phenomenally spectrum-inverted subjects.2 In introducing appearance properties, Shoemaker does two things: he identifies a theoretical role for some family of properties to play, and he suggests a family of properties as candidates to play that role. I'll argue that his proposed candidates do not play the role as well as we would like, suggest some new candidates, and argue that they do a better job. (shrink)
When we say a certain rose is red, we seem to be attributing a property, redness, to it. But are there really such properties? If so, what are they like, how do we know about them, and how are they related to the objects which have them and the linguistic devices which we use to talk about them? This collection presents these ancient problems in a modern light. In particular, it makes accessible for the first time the most important (...) contributions to the contemporary controversy about the nature of properties. Those new to the subject will find the clearly-written introduction, by two experts in the field, an invaluable guide to the intricacies of this debate. The volume illustrates very well the aims and methods of modern metaphysics and show how a thorough understanding of the metaphysics of properties is crucial to most of analytic philosophy. (shrink)