Property and Justice

Property and Justice

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When philosophers put forward claims for or against 'property', it is often unclear whether they are talking about the same thing that lawyers mean by 'property'. Likewise, when lawyers appeal to 'justice' in interpreting or criticizing legal rules we do not know if they have in mind something that philosophers would recognize as 'justice'.

Bridging the gulf between juristic writing on property and speculations about it appearing in the tradition of western political philosophy, Professor Harris has built from entirely new foundations an analytical framework for understanding the nature of property and its connection with justice. Property and Justice ranges over natural property rights; property as a prerequisite of freedom; incentives and markets; demands for equality of resources; property as domination; property and
basic needs; and the question of whether property should be extended to information and human bodily parts. It maintains that property institutions deal both with the use of things and the allocation of wealth, and that everyone has a 'right' that society should provide such an institution.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 416 pages
  • 156 x 235 x 22mm | 601g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0199251401
  • 9780199251407
  • 1,471,094

Table of contents

PART I: WHAT IS PROPERTY? ; 1. Introduction ; 2. Imaginary Societies ; 3. Minimal Structure ; 4. Building on the Minimal Structure ; 5. Ownership as an Organizing Idea ; 6. Ownership as a Principle ; 7. Private and Non-private Property ; 8. Person-Thing and Person-Person Relations ; 9. What Property is ; PART II: IS PARTY JUST? ; 10. The Agenda ; 11. Natural Property Rights and Labour ; 12. Natural Property Rights and the Assault Analogy ; 13. Property and Freedom ; 14. Against Property Freedoms ; 15. The Instrumental Values of Property ; 16. Alleged Dominating Principles ; 17. The Limits of Property ; 18. Property is Just, to a Degree, Sometimes ; Bibliography ; Index
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Review quote

The primary audience for this book will be philosophers of law, who will find the philosophical analysis and arguments about property as it features in Anglo-American law very enlightening. * Peter Vallentyne, Virginia Commonwealth University, Mind, no 108, no 431, July 1999 * There are two particular explanations of why this ambitious project deserves a welcome. They concern, first, the status of arguments about justice and property in political theory; and secondly, the relationship between the study of law and the concerns of political philosophy. * Andrew Reeve, Oxford Journal of Legal Studies * James Harris has written and admirable book in which he seeks to combine lawyerly insights about property with philosophical insights about justice The book as a whole is laudable achievement and should be studied by anyone interested in the two key concepts designated in the title. * Matthew Kramer, Cambridge Law Journal * Review from previous edition the book gets full marks for opening up discussions of several crucial features of property institutions, and for challenging received views on such topics as ownership of one's body and the status of rights to property. All in all, this is a book students of political philosophy should read, and it makes a welcome addition to the body of good work that has been produced on property in the past decade. Indeed, it is probably
the best book on property we now have. * David Crossley Dialogue *
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