Skip to main content
Self-Ownership, Freedom, and Equality
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 111
  • Cited by
    This book has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Bank, Julian 2016. Mr. Winterkorn’s Pay: A Typology of Justification Patterns of Income Inequality. Social Justice Research, Vol. 29, Issue. 2, p. 228.

    Davis, Ann E. 2016. Paradoxical Positions: The Methodological Contributions of Feminist Scholarship. Cambridge Journal of Economics, p. bew003.

    Dierksmeier, Clause 2016. What is ‘Humanistic’ About Humanistic Management?. Humanistic Management Journal,

    Dobson, Lynn and Hawkins, Benjamin 2016. The Idea of Freedom in the Policy Debate on the Minimum Unit Pricing of Alcohol. Journal of Social Philosophy, Vol. 47, Issue. 1, p. 41.

    Fives, Allyn 2016. Philosophy and Political Engagement.

    Franzini, Maurizio Granaglia, Elena and Raitano, Michele 2016. Extreme Inequalities in Contemporary Capitalism.

    Nieswandt, Katharina 2016. Do Rights Exist by Convention or by Nature?. Topoi, Vol. 35, Issue. 1, p. 313.

    Noonan, Jeff 2016. On Marxist Ethics. Journal of Critical Realism, Vol. 15, Issue. 2, p. 187.

    Oakley, Tim 2016. How to Release Oneself from an Obligation: Good News for Duties to Oneself. Australasian Journal of Philosophy, p. 1.

    Rondel, David 2016. Egalitarians, sufficientarians, and mathematicians: a critical notice of Harry Frankfurt’sOn Inequality. Canadian Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 46, Issue. 2, p. 145.

    Rowland, Richard 2016. In defence of good simpliciter. Philosophical Studies, Vol. 173, Issue. 5, p. 1371.

    Scavenius, Theresa 2016. The Tragedy of the Few. Res Publica, Vol. 22, Issue. 1, p. 53.

    Svoboda, Vladimír 2016. Libertarianism, slavery and just taxation. Humanomics, Vol. 32, Issue. 1, p. 69.

    Varga, Somogy 2016. Exploitation, Vulnerability, and Market-Driven Governance. Journal of Social Philosophy, Vol. 47, Issue. 1, p. 90.

    Walker, Mark 2016. Free Money for All.

    Woollard, Fiona 2016. I, Me, Mine: Body-Ownership and the Generation Problem. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly,


    Yoshihara, Naoki and Kaneko, Soh 2016. On the Existence and Characterization of Unequal Exchange in the Free Trade Equilibrium. Metroeconomica, Vol. 67, Issue. 2, p. 210.

    Casal, Paula 2015. Marx, Rawls, Cohen, and Feminism. Hypatia, Vol. 30, Issue. 4, p. 811.

    Claassen, Rutger 2015. The Capability to Hold Property. Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Vol. 16, Issue. 2, p. 220.

  • Export citation
  • Recommend to librarian
  • Recommend this book

    Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this book to your organisation's collection.

    Self-Ownership, Freedom, and Equality
    • Online ISBN: 9780511521270
    • Book DOI:
    Please enter your name
    Please enter a valid email address
    Who would you like to send this to? *
  • Buy the print book

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

    • Aa
    • Aa
Refine List
Actions for selected content:
Select all | Deselect all
  • View selected items
  • Export citations
  • Download PDF (zip)
  • Send to Kindle
  • Send to Dropbox
  • Send to Google Drive
  • Send content to

    To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to .

    To send content to your Kindle, first ensure is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

    Note you can select to send to either the or variations. ‘’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

    Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

    Please be advised that item(s) you selected are not available.
    You are about to send:

Save Search

You can save your searches here and later view and run them again in "My saved searches".

Please provide a title, maximum of 40 characters.


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 1718 *
Loading metrics...

Book summary page views

Total views: 2017 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 25th July 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.