This article contends that the intellectual history of developing British imperial policy towards indigenous peoples' property rights to land in the mid-nineteenth century is best approached through seeing policy as made in the context of two intellectual vocabularies that were conjoined: the stadial theory of history and the law of nations. New Zealand provides an example of these languages in contestable play between the 1830s and 1853 at a time when the expanding British Empire as a whole (...) vied with issues such as 'native title' and the placement and control of settler populations. (shrink)
This paper seeks a new perspective on a long-standing ambiguity in historical materialism. The term "property," its apparent inclusion in both the economic base and the politicolegal superstructure in Marx's schema, and the consequent difficulty of asserting a causal connection between base and superstructure, are seen as deriving from intellectual influences on the young Marx. These influences conveyed certain central ideas from the history of Roman law and its treatment of property. Some implications for Marxist theory are (...) considered. (shrink)
From Machiavelli, Luther and Calvin to Spinoza, the Levellers and Rousseau, the author takes readers through the formation of the modern state all the way to the Age of Enlightenment, revealing the ideas of liberty, equality, human rights ...
Traces the complex lineages of thinking about private property from ancient to modern times. It challenges a number of deep-seated assumptions we make about the incontestability of private property by building a careful and extended account of where these assumptions came from.
Property remains the bedrock of the societies we all inhabit. It underpins our core institutions - including families, states and economies - and it is the medium through which the intensifying politics of inequality is played out. There is plenty of evidence that its importance is increasing in a world of growing wealth inequality and depletion of natural resources. This is the second volume in a major survey of ideas of property in the western world from the ancients (...) to the present, which deals with the crucial period of the Enlightenment, the French Revolution, and the rise of socialism and anarchism. These were the years, and the ideas, through which the politics of modernity was made. (shrink)
In this book, Buckle provides a historical perspective on the political philosophies of Locke and Hume, arguing that there are continuities in the development of seventeenth and eighteenth-century political theory which have often gone unrecognized. He begins with a detailed exposition of Grotius's and Pufendorf's modern natural law theory, focussing on their accounts of the nature of natural law, human sociability, the development of forms of property, and the question of slavery. He then shows that Locke's political theory takes (...) up and develops these basic themes of natural law. The author argues further that, rather than being a departure from this tradition, the moral sense theory of Hutcheson and Hume represents a not entirely successful attempt to underpin the natural law theory with an adequate moral psychology. (shrink)
John Locke's labor theory of property is one of the seminal ideas of political philosophy and served to establish its author's reputation as one of the leading social and political thinkers of all time. Through it Locke addressed many of his most pressing concerns, and earned a reputation as an outstanding spokesman for political individualism - a reputation that lingers widely despite some partial challenges that have been raised in recent years. In this major new study Matthew Kramer offers (...) an extensive critique of the labor theory and investigates the consequences of its downfall. With incisive analyses of the merits and failings of many aspects of Locke's political thought, Kramer advances a powerful challenge to Locke's image as an individualist. Employing a rigorously philosophical methodology, but remaining aware of the insights generated by historical approaches to Locke, Kramer concludes that Locke's political vision was in fact profoundly communitarian. (shrink)
I argue there is a distinct and integrated property-concept applying directly, not to things, but to actions. This concept of Property in Activities describes a determinate ethico-political relation to a particular activity – a relation that may (but equally may not) subsequently effect a wide variety of relations to some thing. The relation with the activity is fixed and primary, and any ensuing relations with things are variable and derivative. Property in Activities illuminates many of the vexing (...) problem cases arising in property theory. Communal, intangible, fugacious, hunting, fishing, customary and recreation property rights are not ersatz instances of owning things – they are paradigms of Property Protected Activities. The same is true of the functioning of property in various aspects of contemporary law, its application in philosophical arguments such as Locke’s, and much of its historical application prior to the Nineteenth Century. By illustrating how one stable concept can resolve this myriad of otherwise puzzling cases, I argue that Property in Activities is as important and influential a concept as Ownership of Things. (shrink)
A new edition of the first systematic reading of Hegel's political philosophy Elements of the Philosophy of Right is widely acknowledged to be one of the most important works in the history of political philosophy. This is the first book on the subject to take Hegel's system of speculative philosophy seriously as an important component of any robust understanding of this text. Key Features •Sets out the difference between 'systematic' and 'non-systematic' readings of Philosophy of Right •Outlines the unique (...) structure of Hegel's philosophical arguments •Explores key areas of Hegel's political philosophy: his theories of property, punishment, morality, law, monarchy, war, democracy and history This significantly expanded second edition includes: a more detailed explanation of Hegel's philosophical system, two new chapters on his theories of democracy and history and an appendix detailing the implications this work has for future interpretations of Hegel's philosophy. (shrink)
Two themes run through Wollheim’s work: the importance of history to the practice and appreciation of the arts, and the centrality of experience in appreciation. Prima facie, these are in tension. Reconciling them requires two steps. First, we should follow Wollheim in adopting a notion of experience on which features can be experienced even if we must have experience-independent access to the fact that the work exhibits them. Second, we need to state what makes a particular experience appropriate to (...) the work. What does so? An obvious answer is that the experience reflects the work’s nature. Wollheim toyed with a more ambitious line, one linking the appropriate experience to our abilities to discriminate instances of the property appreciated. He allowed that having the right experience might require knowledge of the work, and thus that that experience need not be born of the ability to discriminate the property appreciated. But he seems to have held that the appropriate experience must engender that ability, at least against the background of those actual items that might be confused with instances of the property. I argue that Wollheim’s answer is less appealing than the obvious one. (shrink)
Western attempts to obtain Chinese compliance with intellectual property rights have a long history of failure. Most discussions of the problem focus on either legal comparisons or explanations arising from levels of economic development (based primarily on the example of U.S. disregard for such rights during the 18th and 19th centuries). After decades of heated negotiation, intellectual property rights is still one of the major issues of misunderstanding between the West and the various Chinese political entities. This (...) paper examines the sources of this problem from the standpoint of traditional Chinese social and political philosophy (specifically Neo-Confucianism). It points out that the basic assumptions about the nature of intellectual property, which arose during the 17th and 18th centuries in Europe, are fundamentally at odds with the traditional Chinese view of the role of intellectuals in society. It suggests that policies which do not take these differences into account, but which attempt to transfer Western legal concepts without the underlying social constructs are responsible for much of the lack of success in the area of intellectual property rights. (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)
In this collection of recent essays (several appearing in English for the first time), John Dunn brings his characteristically acute and penetrative insight to a wide range of political issues. In the first essay, 'The history of political theory', Professor Dunn argues for the importance of a historical perspective in the study of political thought. Other pieces engage with central concepts of political philosophy such as obligation, trust, freedom of conscience and property. A group of studies tackle specific (...) contemporary problems and future dangers, for example racism and the dilemma of humanitarian intervention. The volume as a whole articulates the many dangers, but also the huge importance of, contemporary politics, and provides a representative collection of work by one of the most astute political commentators writing today. (shrink)
Over the last fifteen years, studies on Sanskrit intellectual history between the fifteenth and eighteenth centuries have produced a body of scholarship that has fundamentally reshaped our understanding of the period. Yet, despite significant advances in the understanding of the social-historical circumstances of authors and disciplines as well as success in elucidating major features of intellectual thought, a main point of difficultly has been in combining both the intellectuality and sociality of Sanskrit scholars. By examining a debate within the (...) discipline of nyāya during the seventeenth century about how one cognizes the universal property ‘Brahman-ness ’ and by connecting it with a social debate that is found in available historical documents of the period, this essay attempts to combine the sociality of the Brahman scholarly community in Vārāṇasī with their intellectuality and offer a larger analysis of nyāya intellectual history for this period. The essay concludes by considering the ways in which the social world impinged upon nyāya argumentation and nyāya argumentation upon the social world. (shrink)
This volume offers a comprehensive and authoritative account of the history of a complex and varied body of ideas over a period of more than one thousand years. A work of both synthesis and assessment, The Cambridge History of Medieval Political Thought presents the results of several decades of critical scholarship in the field, and reflects in its breadth of enquiry precisely that diversity of focus that characterized the medieval sense of the "political," preoccupied with universality at some (...) levels, and with almost minute particularity at others. Among the vital questions explored by the distinguished team of contributors are the nature of authority, of justice, of property; the problem of legitimacy, of allegiance, of resistance to the powers that be; the character and functions of law, and the role of custom in maintaining a social structure. (shrink)
In this study of Fichte's social and political philosophy, David James offers an interpretation of Fichte's most famous writings in this area, including his Foundations of Natural Right and Addresses to the German Nation, centred on two main themes: property and virtue. These themes provide the basis for a discussion of such issues as what it means to guarantee the freedom of all the citizens of a state, the problem of unequal relations of economic dependence between states, and the (...) differences and connections between the legal and political sphere of right and morality. James also relates Fichte's central social and political ideas to those of other important figures in the history of philosophy, including Locke, Kant and Hegel, as well as to the radical phase of the French Revolution. His account will be of importance to all who are interested in Fichte's philosophy and its intellectual and political context. (shrink)
In this ambitious work, Fred Weinstein confronts the obstacles that have increasingly frustrated our attempts to explain social and historical reality. Traditionally, we have relied on history and social theory to describe the ways people understand the world they live in. But the ordering explanations we have always used--derived from the classical social theories originally forged by Marx, Tocqueville, Weber, Durkheim, Freud--have collapsed. In the wake of this collapse or "fall," the rival claims of fiction, psychoanalysis, sociology, anthropology, and (...)history have created the dilemma of radical relativism, the prospect of multiple interpretations of any complex historical event. The basic strategy of social theory and the social sciences--the search for underlying unities--proves so inherently contradictory and has provided so little in the way of reliable knowledge of social and historical relationships that to many critics it seems no longer worth pursuing. Weinstein enters the debate by rejecting any search for underlying structural unities, dynamic or social, through which historians have attempted to find continuity with the past. He looks instead to ideological processes, to the construction of successive and changing versions of reality that mediate between the power of fantasy on the one side and the power of the social world on the other. He argues further that the need to use ideological constructs in this way accounts for the heterogeneous and changing content of social movements and for the persistent need people have always had for authoritative leaders, even in democratized societies. He suggests that people have historically been able to take a step away from leaders only by substituting the possession of objects such as property or money. This book is a breakthrough in poststructuralist theory that is sure to stimulate considerable discussion, especially about the shape of the social sciences and the future of historical interpretation. (shrink)
This paper examines the “biotechnology problem” in the history of molecular biology, namely the alleged reinvention of a basic academic discipline looking for the logic of life, into a typical technoscientific enterprise, closely related to agriculture, medicine, and the construction of markets. The dominant STS model sees the roots of this shift in a radical change of the regime of knowledge production. The paper argues that this scheme needs to be historicized to take into account the past in our (...) biotech present. Looking at the development of breast cancer genetic testing and GMOs as examples of mounting issues of intellectual property, risk and regulation, the paper also argues that historians of biology should pay closer attention to the political, the economical and the legal changes of the last thirty years. Solving the biotech problem requires new categories. The notion of “way of regulating” is given as an example of such notions linking the local and the global. (shrink)
Two types of lying in history and in politics are the "direct lie" method and the "blank pages" method. "Direct lying" is morally more blameworthy than the "blank pages" method. Distortions on the level of semi-theoretical, general, historical statements are ethically more justifiable than distortions on the level of concrete, factual, empirical statements. Historians are morally responsible for lying even when their false account is due to a lack of talent, or when they know the truth but do not (...) make it publicly known, especially if they are one of the few who has access to direct evidence. Historians are possibly excepted from moral responsibility for lying in the case of sanctions imposed upon them, including the martyr and hostage situations, where either their own or their family's property or life are threatened. Sanctions force some historians into an escapist strategy, such that they attempt to study other topics where their cognitive activities are not so heavily restricted by taboos. (shrink)
There is perhaps no text with a broader impact on our lives than the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights . It is strange, therefore, that historians have paid so little attention to the UDHR. I argue that its potential impact on the study of history is profound. After asking whether the UDHR contains a general view of history, I address the consequences of the UDHR for the rights and duties of historians, and explain how it deals with (...) their subjects of study. I demonstrate that the UDHR is a direct source of five important rights for historians: the rights to free expression and information, to meet and found associations, to intellectual property, to academic freedom, and to silence. It is also an indirect source of three duties for historians: the duties to produce expert knowledge about the past, to disseminate it, and to teach about it. I discuss the limits to, and conflicts among, these rights and duties. The UDHR also has an impact on historians’ subjects of study: I argue that the UDHR applies to the living but not to the dead, and that, consequently, it is a compass for studying recent rather than remote historical injustice. Nevertheless, and although it is itself silent about historians’ core duties to find and tell the truth, the UDHR firmly supports an emerging imprescriptible right to the truth, which in crucial respects is nothing less than a right to history. If the UDHR is a “Magna Carta of all men everywhere,” it surely is one for all historians. (shrink)
The idea of a 'property-owning democracy' became central to John Rawls's re-evaluation of his theory of justice. This article traces the origins of Rawls's concept of `property-owning democracy' first to the writings of the economist James Meade and then to those of early twentieth-century British conservatives, focusing on the question of how the meaning of democracy was defined and re-defined throughout this history. I argue that Rawls inherited a discursive matrix from the British conservatives in which the (...) notion of 'property-owning democracy' refers to the limits that should be set on democratic practices to make democracy compatible with the needs and interests of property-owners. In addition to tracing the genealogy of the idea of a 'property-owning democracy', the article points toward more recent attempts, partially inspired by Rawls's 'political turn', to re-examine the distribution of property-ownership from the perspective of what is required for viable democratic deliberations. The article ends with an addendum lamenting the fact that when George W. Bush's administration adopted the British ideas and policies associated with 'property-owning democracy' it chose to omit 'democracy' altogether and to describe its initiative as 'ownership society'. (shrink)
This article is about the logic of the concept of "coherence" as used by historians to justify an argument. Despite its effectiveness in historical arguments, coherence is problematic for epistemologists and some theorists of history. The main purpose of this paper is to present some insights that bear upon the logical status of coherence. As will be demonstrated, this will also shed some light on the allegedly dubious epistemological position of coherence. In general I will argue that, logically seen, (...) coherence is a property of a set of related beliefs which makes it possible to justify a choice out of different factually justifiable interpretations. Coherence disambiguates vague or ambiguous observations. As words lose their vagueness or ambiguity in contexts, so do contexts disambiguate historical facts. My argument will be based on some relatively recent findings about the cognitive processes underlying vision and reading. Research in the field of text linguistics is used to show what kinds of relationship exist between historical representations that might be considered to cohere. (shrink)
Since the very beginnings of Philosophy, the multifaceted problem of time has constituted one of the central concerns of philosophers and other thinkers. From pre-Socratic speculation to Platonic metaphysics, from St. Augustine to the medieval theologians, meditation upon time was unceasing, and the issue became yet more acute with the development of modern philosophy following Descartes One might summarize the slow evolution of Western thought in this area as follows: time began in Greek philosophy as a property of the (...) world, was later referred basically to human beings, and in the twentieth century has recovered its cosmic nature thanks to contemporary physics .It is of course beyond the reach of a single article to tackle the problem of time in its entirety. Here, I shall concentrate on a single very specific aspect: the definition of the past and the question of whether the past has any explicative value. It is largely on the answer to this question that the possibility of maintaining the coherent identity of history as a branch of knowledge depends. (shrink)
This paper will annoy modern logicians who follow Bertrand Russell in taking pleasure in denigrating Aristotle for [allegedly] being ignorant of relational propositions. To be sure this paper does not clear Aristotle of the charge. On the contrary, it shows that such ignorance, which seems unforgivable in the current century, still dominated the thinking of one of the greatest modern logicians as late as 1831. Today it is difficult to accept the proposition that Aristotle was blind to the fact that, (...) for example, incommensurability is a relation and not a property: that the proposition “In every square, the diagonals are incommensurable with the sides” is relational and not categorical. This paper asks the reader to do something more difficult: to accept the proposition that as late as 1831 De Morgan was blind to the same fact. This paper shows conclusively that in 1831, De Morgan was still in the grips of the allegedly Aristotelian paradigm. (shrink)
Twenty-first century science faces a dilemma. Two of its well-verified foundation stones - relativity and quantum theory - have proven inconsistent. Resolution of the conflict has resisted improvements in experimental precision leaving some to believe that some fundamental understanding in our world-view may need modification or even radical reform. Employment of the wave-front model of electrodynamics, as a propagation process with a Markov property, may offer just such a clarification.
The case of highland Yemen up to around the middle of the twentieth century involves a history different from most Muslim societies in that, from 1919, the Yemeni state was independent. The problem I address concerns the utility of thinking about the highland property regime in this era in relation to the categories of "private" and "public." What sort of antecedents existed, at the level of property relations, for later commercial transformations that would culminate in such things (...) as Pizza Hut franchises? In Yemen, the polity of the period was a type of Islamic state, one based on the shari`a in ideology and in application and headed by a classical form of jurist-leader, a figure known as an imam. Prior to the twentieth century, this Yemeni form of a shari`a-based Islamic polity had a thousand year history in the highlands. Shari`a courts had exclusive competence as state tribunals, and judges, trained on old-style law books, heard the full gamut of litigation. By contrast, colonial changes in other Muslim societies typically entailed a sharp alteration and restriction of the sphere of the shari`a, often limiting application to the domain of "family law" alone. At the same time, the highlands had yet to commence the other great and, elsewhere, ongoing modern transformation of the shari`a, codification and legislation, which would not begin in Yemen until after the Revolution of 1962.Highland society at mid-century was agrarian, based primarily on settled plow cultivation, and the associated property regime was almost exclusively "private." In Yemen, the "private" property regime centered conceptually on milk, a category of individual ownership of immoveable property, and on the concept of mal, a commercial commodity. As a form of private, landed property, milk involved rights that could be acquired, alienated and inherited, and the associated agricultural production was based on lease contracts between landlords and sharecroppers. Pious endowments were the basis for one of the great Muslim "public" institutions, which supported mosques, schools, water systems, etc. Another fundamental "public" institution was an extension of the "private" commercial notion of mal into the state institution of the 'House of Mal,' or Treasury. Other key "public" institutions were the imamate itself, a form of Islamic state, and the shari`a court. This shari`a system can be thought of in terms of three levels of legal texts. At the highest level, shari`a doctrine, the jurisprudence of the period, constituted an ideology of the property regime. The doctrine provided models for both the range of substantive undertakings and for court processes, but the relationship of these models to the property relations and to litigation on the ground is a key question. At the lowest level, the routine documents of ongoing, uncontested practice proliferated. These included ordinary sale documents, leases, marriage contracts, endowment instruments, wills and estate inheritance instruments. Between high doctrine and low instruments were the records of shari`a court judgments, records in which the conflicts and contradictions of the property system were expressed, argued and ruled upon. In certain problem areas of the law, the ruling imams's personal doctrinal "choices" were designed to guide court judges in their rulings. (shrink)
This article surveys the early history of printing in colonial Bengal, in particular the rise of the indigenous book trade in the Battala area of Calcutta. The article argues that the likes of Gangakishore Bhattacharya and Bhabanicharan Bandyopadhyay were among the first to attempt to socialize the printed book, leading to the rise of a substantial interpretive community by the middle of the 19th century. At the same time, traces of manuscript book practice lingered in the printed book, especially (...) in the disposition of the title-page and other paratextual apparatus. This article scrutinizes the interface between the manuscript and the printed books, and asks how the conceptions of intellectual property, authorship and entailment evolved within the ambit of the popular book trade. By looking at a number of title-pages from the period, the article tries to examine the relationship between intellectual property and the rise of the popular. (shrink)
Although the idea of intellectual property (IP) rights—proprietary rights to what one invents, writes, paints, composes or creates—is firmlyembedded in Western thinking, these rights are now being challenged across the globe in a number of areas. This paper will focus on one of these challenges: government-sanctioned copying of patented drugs without permission or license of the patent owner in the name of national security, in health emergencies, or life-threatening epidemics. After discussing standard rights-based and utilitarian arguments defending intellectual (...) class='Hi'>property we will present another model. IP is almost always a result of a long history of scientific or technological development and numbers of networks of creativity, not the act of a single person or a group of people at one moment in time. Thus thinking about and evaluating IP requires thinking about IP as shared rights. A network approach to IP challenges a traditional model of IP. It follows that the owner of those rights has some obligations to share that information or its outcomes. If that conclusion is applied to the distribution of antiretroviral drugs, what pharmaceutical companies are ethically required to do to increase access to these medicines in the developing world will have to be reanalyzed from a more systemic perspective. (shrink)
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.”. (shrink)
This chapter contains sections titled: * A Neuroscientific Theory of Cognition: The Global Workspace Model * The Burden of Proof and the Loss of Innocence * The Harshest Attack on Freedom and Consciousness: Daniel Dennett * A More Radical Entailment? * Consciousness as an Emergent Property * Conclusion * Notes.