The Limits of Lockean Rights in Property

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Oxford University Press, 1995 - Computers - 162 pages
In this book, Gopal Sreenivasan provides a comprehensive interpretation of Locke's theory of property, and offers a critical assessment of that theory. Locke argued that the appropriation of things as private property does not violate the rights of others, provided that everyone still has access to the materials needed to produce their subsistence. Given that, the actual appropriation of particular things is legitimated by one's labor. Holding Locke's theory to the logic of its own argument, Sreenivasan examines the extent to which it is really serviceable as a defense of private property. He contends that a purified version of this theory - one that adheres consistently to the logic of Locke's argument while excluding considerations extraneous to it - does in fact legitimate a form of private property. This purified theory is defensible in contemporary, secular terms, since nothing to which Locke gives an ineliminable theological foundation belongs to the logical structure of his argument. The resulting regime of private property is both substantially egalitarian and significantly different from the traditional liberal institution of private property.

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1 Introduction
Part I Property in the Two Treatises
Part II Limitations of Lockean Property

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About the author (1995)

Gopal Sreenivasan is at Princeton University.

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