Self-Ownership, Freedom, and Equality

Front Cover
Cambridge University Press, Oct 26, 1995 - Philosophy - 277 pages
0 Reviews
In this book G. A. Cohen examines the libertarian principle of self-ownership, which says that each person belongs to himself and therefore owes no service or product to anyone else. This principle is used to defend capitalist inequality, which is said to reflect each person's freedom to do as as he wishes with himself. The author argues that self-ownership cannot deliver the freedom it promises to secure, thereby undermining the idea that lovers of freedom should embrace capitalism and the inequality that comes with it. He goes on to show that the standard Marxist condemnation of exploitation implies an endorsement of self-ownership, since, in the Marxist conception, the employer steals from the worker what should belong to her, because she produced it. Thereby a deeply inegalitarian notion has penetrated what is in aspiration an egalitarian theory. Purging that notion from socialist thought, he argues, enables construction of a more consistent egalitarianism.
  

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

Preface
ix
Acknowledgements
x
history ethics and Marxism
1
Robert Nozick and Wilt Chamberlain how patterns preserve liberty
19
Justice freedom and market transactions
38
Selfownership worldownership and equality
67
Are freedom and equality compatible?
92
Selfownership communism and equality against the Marxist technological fix
116
Marx and Locke on land and labour
165
Exploitation in Marx what makes it unjust?
195
Selfownership delineating the concept
209
Selfownership assessing the thesis
229
The future of a disillusion
245
Bibliography
266
Index of names
272
Subject index
274

Marxism and contemporary political philosophy or why Nozick exercises some Marxists more than he does any egalitarian liberals
144

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

Bibliographic information