Gerald Gaus

in The Oxford Handbook of Political Philosophy

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780195376692
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks


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This article argues that political philosophers for the most part have not successfully come to terms with the implications of the modern concept of property. It shows that the fragmentation of property is real and is not easily overcome. It begins in Section 2 by reviewing the bundle-of-rights approach. Section 3 examines several attempts to identify a normative or logical structure to these rights that preserves the classic conception of ownership. Section 4 presents an alternative conception of a regime of strong property rights that should be attractive to classical liberals yet avoids an appeal to the classic idea of ownership, accepting both Grey's fragmentation and the “no things” theses.

Keywords: political philosophers; fragmentation of property; bundle-of-rights; ownership; property rights

Article.  10199 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Social and Political Philosophy

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