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Self-Ownership, Freedom, and Equality
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  • Cited by 186
  • Cited by
    This book has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Dowding, Keith and Hindmoor, Andrew 1997. The usual suspects: Rational choice, socialism and political theory. New Political Economy, Vol. 2, Issue. 3, p. 451.

    Wolff, Jonathan 1997. Freedom, liberty, and property. Critical Review, Vol. 11, Issue. 3, p. 345.

    Friedman, Jeffrey 1997. What's wrong with Libertarianism. Critical Review, Vol. 11, Issue. 3, p. 407.

    Chodos, Howard 1997. G. A. Cohen'sself‐ownership, freedom and equality: A commentary. Capitalism Nature Socialism, Vol. 8, Issue. 3, p. 133.

    Epstein, Richard A. 1998. The right set of simple rules: A short reply to Frederick Schauer and comment on G. A. Cohen. Critical Review, Vol. 12, Issue. 3, p. 305.

    Palmer, Tom G. 1998. G. A. Cohen on self‐ownership, property, and equality. Critical Review, Vol. 12, Issue. 3, p. 225.

    Knight, Jack 1998. JUSTICE AND FAIRNESS. Annual Review of Political Science, Vol. 1, Issue. 1, p. 425.

    Weinberg, Justin 1998. Self‐ and world‐ownership: Rejoinder to Epstein, palmer, and Feallsanach. Critical Review, Vol. 12, Issue. 3, p. 325.

    Palmer, Tom G. 1998. What'snotwrong with libertarianism: Reply to Friedman. Critical Review, Vol. 12, Issue. 3, p. 337.

    van Donselaar, Gijs 1998. The Freedom-based Account of Solidarity and Basic Income. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, Vol. 1, Issue. 3, p. 313.

    Chodos, Howard 1998. Theory and Metatheory in the Evaluation of Marxism1: a Review Esssay. Critical Sociology, Vol. 24, Issue. 1-2, p. 156.

    Beitz, Charles R. 1999. International Liberalism and Distributive Justice: A Survey of Recent Thought. World Politics, Vol. 51, Issue. 02, p. 269.

    King, Preston 1999. Liberty as power. Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy, Vol. 2, Issue. 3, p. 1.

    Phillips, Anne 2000. Equality, Pluralism, Universality: Current Concerns in Normative Theory. The British Journal of Politics and International Relations, Vol. 2, Issue. 2, p. 237.

    Bardon, Adrian 2000. From Nozick to welfare rights: Self‐ownership, property, and moral desert. Critical Review, Vol. 14, Issue. 4, p. 481.

    Burczak, Theodore 2001. Ellerman's Labor Theory of Property and the Injustice of Capitalist Exploitation. Review of Social Economy, Vol. 59, Issue. 2, p. 161.

    Lynch, Kathleen 2001. Creating a dialogue between sociological and egalitarian theory in education. International Studies in Sociology of Education, Vol. 11, Issue. 3, p. 237.

    DiQuattro, Arthur 2001. Book Review: Rethinking Liberal Equality: From a "Utopian" Point of View. Review of Radical Political Economics, Vol. 33, Issue. 3, p. 366.

    O'Keefe, Eileen and Scott-Samuel, Alex 2002. Human Rights and Wrongs: Could Health Impact Assessment Help?. The Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics, Vol. 30, Issue. 4, p. 734.

    Pleasants, Nigel 2002. Rich Egalitarianism, Ordinary Politics, and the Demands of Justice. Inquiry, Vol. 45, Issue. 1, p. 97.

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Book description

In this book G. A. Cohen examines the libertarian principle of self-ownership, which says that each person belongs to himself and therefore owes no service or product to anyone else. This principle is used to defend capitalist inequality, which is said to reflect each person's freedom to do as as he wishes with himself. The author argues that self-ownership cannot deliver the freedom it promises to secure, thereby undermining the idea that lovers of freedom should embrace capitalism and the inequality that comes with it. He goes on to show that the standard Marxist condemnation of exploitation implies an endorsement of self-ownership, since, in the Marxist conception, the employer steals from the worker what should belong to her, because she produced it. Thereby a deeply inegalitarian notion has penetrated what is in aspiration an egalitarian theory. Purging that notion from socialist thought, he argues, enables construction of a more consistent egalitarianism.


‘ … Cohen brings formidable analytical and forensic skills, and the book is an outstanding example of the intellectual gains to be won by clear and rigorous thinking about questions that are usually blanketed by idealogical fog.’

David Miller Source: London Review of Books

‘ … his book stands out among the many studies of electorial history …’.

Source: Anarchist Studies

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