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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.

    Cunningham, Frank 2019. The Political Thought of C.B. Macpherson. p. 139.

    Ware, Robert X. 2019. Marx on Emancipation and Socialist Goals. p. 203.

    Palermo, Giulio 2019. Power: a Marxist view. Cambridge Journal of Economics,

    Wolff, Jonathan 2018. International Encyclopedia of Ethics. p. 1.

    Timmer, Dick 2018. Defending the Democratic Argument for Limitarianism: A Reply to Volacu and Dumitru. Philosophia,

    Shnayderman, Ronen 2018. Germ-Line Genetic Information as a Natural Resource as a Means to Achieving Luck-Egalitarian Equality: Some Difficulties. Res Publica,

    Lowe, Dan 2018. The deep error of political libertarianism: self-ownership, choice, and what’s really valuable in life. Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy, p. 1.

    Cockburn, Patrick J. L. and Thorup, Mikkel 2018. Proprietors and parasites. Philosophy & Social Criticism, Vol. 44, Issue. 2, p. 179.

    Brace, Laura and O’Connell Davidson, Julia 2018. Revisiting Slavery and Antislavery. p. 3.

    Veitch, Scott Christodoulidis, Emilios and Goldoni, Marco 2018. Jurisprudence. p. 229.

    Yoshihara, Naoki 2018. Analytical Political Economy. p. 307.

    Prainsack, Barbara 2018. The “We” in the “Me”. Science, Technology, & Human Values, Vol. 43, Issue. 1, p. 21.

    Moles, Andres and Parr, Tom 2018. Distributions and Relations: A Hybrid Account. Political Studies, p. 003232171875558.

    Rumbold, Benedict 2018. Towards a More Particularist View of Rights’ Stringency. Res Publica,

    Łuków, Paweł 2018. Leaving gift-giving behind: the ethical status of the human body and transplant medicine. Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy,

    Vandamme, Pierre-Etienne 2018. Voting secrecy and the right to justification. Constellations, Vol. 25, Issue. 3, p. 388.

    Bonython, Wendy Elizabeth and Arnold, Bruce Baer 2018. Direct to consumer genetic testing and the libertarian right to test. Journal of Medical Ethics, Vol. 44, Issue. 11, p. 787.

    Martin, Rex and Reidy, David A. 2018. International Encyclopedia of Ethics. p. 1.

    Loi, Michele 2018. The Digital Phenotype: a Philosophical and Ethical Exploration. Philosophy & Technology,

    Mazor, Joseph 2018. Can liberal egalitarians protect the occupational freedom of the economically talented?. Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy, Vol. 21, Issue. 6, p. 703.

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    Self-Ownership, Freedom, and Equality
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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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