A Theory of Property

A Theory of Property

Paperback Cambridge Studies in Philosophy & Law

By (author) Stephen R. Munzer, Series edited by Gerald J. Postema, Series edited by Jules L. Coleman, Series edited by Antony Duff, Series edited by David Lyons, Series edited by Neil MacCormick, Series edited by Philip Pettit, Series edited by Joseph Raz, Series edited by Jeremy Waldron


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  • Format: Paperback | 504 pages
  • Dimensions: 154mm x 226mm x 34mm | 762g
  • Publication date: 26 January 1990
  • Publication City/Country: Cambridge
  • ISBN 10: 0521378869
  • ISBN 13: 9780521378864
  • Edition: 2
  • Illustrations note: 2 b/w illus. 2 tables
  • Sales rank: 661,554

Product description

This book represents a major new statement on the issue of property rights. It argues for the justification of some rights of private property while showing why unequal distributions of private property are indefensible. Three features of the book are especially salient: it offers a challenging new pluralist theory of justification; the argument integrates perceptive analyses of the great classical theorists Aristotle, Locke, Hegel and Marx with a discussion of contemporary philosophers such as Nozick and Rawls; and the author moves with assurance among philosophy, law and economics to present a very broad, interdisciplinary study.

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Review quote

'Stephen Munzer has achieved something I had thought impossible, an encyclopedia treatment of the theory of property rights that does justice to almost all the conceptual, legal, political, and social issues at stake ... A Theory of Property will be of the greatest interest and value to philosophers, lawyers, political theorists, and economists alike ... It is an object lesson in how to practise intellectual and ethical pluralism without the least sacrifice of rigour and lucidity'. Alan Ryan, Princeton University 'Steeped in the traditions of both Anglo-American and Continental philosophy and armed with the knowledge of property law expert, Munzer moves easily between discussions of thinkers such as Rawls, Marx, and Hegel and concrete discussions of property law roaming over everything from gifts to zoning; all this, with a passion for clarity and a compelling commitment to the view that an engaging and fruitful philosophical dialogue about property must be responsive to its psychological, cultural, and normative dimensions.' Steven Shiffrin, Cornell University

Table of contents

1. Property and justification; Part I. Property Rights and Personal Rights: 2. Understanding property; 3. Persons and their bodies; 4. Body rights and the constitution; Part II. From Individuals to Social Context: 5. Incorporation and projection; 6. Control, privacy and individuality; 7. Property and moral character; 8. Alienation and society; Part III. Justification and Distributive Equity: 9. Utility and efficiency; 10. Justice and equality; 11. Labor and desert; 12. Conflict and resolution; Part IV. Applications: 13. Business corporations; 14. Gratuitous transfers; 15. A moral and political theory of takings; 16. Takings and the constitution; Table of cases; Index of names; Index of subjects.