Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa

EMBODIMENT AND SELF-OWNERSHIP

  • Daniel C. Russell (a1)
Abstract
Abstract

Many libertarians believe that self-ownership is a separate matter from ownership of extra-personal property. “No-proviso” libertarians hold that property ownership should be free of any “fair share” constraints (e.g., the Lockean Proviso), on the grounds that the inability of the very poor to control property leaves their self-ownership intact. By contrast, left-libertarians hold that while no one need compensate others for owning himself, still property owners must compensate others for owning extra-personal property. What would a “self” have to be for these claims to be true? I argue that both of these camps must conceive of the boundaries of the self as including one's body but no part of the extra-personal world. However, other libertarians draw those boundaries differently, so that self-ownership cannot be separated from the right to control extra-personal property after all. In that case, property ownership must be subject to a fair share constraint, but that constraint does not require appropriators to pay compensation. This view, which I call “right libertarianism,” differs importantly from the other types primarily in its conception of the self, which I argue is independently more plausible.

Abstract

Many libertarians believe that self-ownership is a separate matter from ownership of extra-personal property. “No-proviso” libertarians hold that property ownership should be free of any “fair share” constraints (e.g., the Lockean Proviso), on the grounds that the inability of the very poor to control property leaves their self-ownership intact. By contrast, left-libertarians hold that while no one need compensate others for owning himself, still property owners must compensate others for owning extra-personal property. What would a “self” have to be for these claims to be true? I argue that both of these camps must conceive of the boundaries of the self as including one's body but no part of the extra-personal world. However, other libertarians draw those boundaries differently, so that self-ownership cannot be separated from the right to control extra-personal property after all. In that case, property ownership must be subject to a fair share constraint, but that constraint does not require appropriators to pay compensation. This view, which I call “right libertarianism,” differs importantly from the other types primarily in its conception of the self, which I argue is independently more plausible.

Copyright
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

Robert Taylor , “Self-Ownership and the Limits of Libertarianism,” Social Theory and Practice 31, no. 4 (2005): 465482, at 466–67

Richard Sorabji , Self (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2006)

Shaun Gallagher , “Dimensions of Embodiment: Body Image and Body Schema in Medical Contexts,” in S. Kay Toombs , ed., Handbook of Phenomenology and Medicine (Dordrecht: Kluwer, 2001)

Bruce Rybarczyk , David L. Nyenhuis , John J. Nicholas , Susan M. Cash , and James Kaiser , “Body Image, Perceived Social Stigma, and the Prediction of Psychological Adjustment to Leg Amputation,” Rehabilitation Psychology 40, no. 2 (1995): 95110

J. M. Behel , B. Rybarczyk , T. R. Elliott , J. J. Nicholas , and D. L. Nyenhuis , “The Role of Perceived Vulnerability in Adjustment to Lower Extremity Amputation,” Rehabilitation Psychology 47, no. 1 (2002): 92105

Isao Fukunishi , “Relationship of Cosmetic Disfigurement to the Severity of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Burn Injury or Digital Amputation,” Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics 68, no. 2 (1999): 8286

Jan Narveson , “Libertarianism vs. Marxism: Reflections on G. A. Cohen's Self-Ownership, Freedom, and Equality,Journal of Ethics 2, no. 1 (1998): 126, at 21

David Schmidtz in Schmidtz and Robert Goodin , Social Welfare and Individual Responsibility (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998)

Edward Feser , “There Is No Such Thing as an Unjust Initial Acquisition,” Social Philosophy and Policy 22, no. 1 (2005): 5680, at 61–67

Eric Mack , “Self-Ownership and the Right of Property,” The Monist 73, no. 4 (1990): 519543, at 528

Eric Mack , “The Self-Ownership Proviso: A New and Improved Lockean Proviso,” Social Philosophy and Policy 12, no. 1 (1995): 186218

Hillel Steiner , “How Equality Matters,” Social Philosophy and Policy 19, no. 1 (2002): 342–56, at 351

Richard Arneson , “Lockean Self-Ownership: Towards a Demolition,” Political Studies 39, no. 1 (1991): 3654

Robert Brenkert , “Self-Ownership, Freedom, and Autonomy,” Journal of Ethics 2, no. 1 (1998): 2755 at 52–54

Richard Arneson , “Primary Goods Reconsidered,” Noûs 24, no. 3 (1990): 429–54, at 448

Peter Vallentyne , Hillel Steiner , and Michael Otsuka , “Why Left-Libertarianism Is Not Incoherent, Indeterminate, or Irrelevant: A Reply to Fried,” Philosophy and Public Affairs 33, no. 2 (2005): 201–15, at 201, 208–9

G. A. Cohen , Self-Ownership, Freedom, and Equality (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995)

Magnus Jedenheim-Edling , “The Compatibility of Effective Self-Ownership and Joint World Ownership,” Journal of Political Philosophy 13, no. 3 (2005): 284304

Eric Mack , “Agent-Relativity of Value, Deontic Restraints, and Self-Ownership,” in R. G. Frey and Christopher W. Morris , eds., Value, Welfare, and Morality (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1993)

Daniel Russell , “Locke on Land and Labor,” Philosophical Studies 117, nos. 1-2 (2004): 303–25

Eric Mack , “Self-Ownership, Marxism, and Egalitarianism, Part I: Challenges to Historical Entitlement,” Politics, Philosophy, and Economics 1, no. 1 (2002): 75108, at 98

Recommend this journal

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

Social Philosophy and Policy
  • ISSN: 0265-0525
  • EISSN: 1471-6437
  • URL: /core/journals/social-philosophy-and-policy
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 5
Total number of PDF views: 41 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 206 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 28th June 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.