Entitlement: The Paradoxes of Property

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Yale University Press, Oct 1, 2008 - Philosophy - 256 pages
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In this important work of legal, political, and moral theory, Joseph William Singer offers a controversial new view of property and the entitlements and obligations of its owners. Singer argues against the conventional understanding that owners have the right to control their property as they see fit, with few limitations by government. Instead, property should be understood as a mode of organizing social relations, he says, and he explains the potent consequences of this idea.

Singer focuses on the ways in which property law reflects and shapes social relationships. He contends that property is a matter not of right but of entitlement—and entitlement, in Singer’s work, is a complex accommodation of mutual claims. Property requires regulation—property is a system and not just an individual entitlement, and the system must support a form of social life that spreads wealth, promotes liberty, avoids undue concentration of power, and furthers justice. The author argues that owners have not only rights but obligations as well—to other owners, to nonowners, and to the community as a whole. Those obligations ensure that property rights function to shape social relationships in ways that are both just and defensible.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - thcson - LibraryThing

Singer argues that theories of exclusive rights to property often leads to paradoxical results if they're applied indiscriminately to the real world. His alternative is a "bundle" of rights where ... Read full review

Entitlement: the paradoxes of property

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Singer (law, Harvard Law Sch.; Property Law: Rules, Policies, and Practices) here discusses new social relations principles to help understand private property rights. In the traditional ownership ... Read full review


1 Paradoxes of Property
2 From Title to Entitlement
3 Property and Social Relations
4 Systemic and Distributive Norms
5 Reparation
6 Expectations and Obligations

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