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The Myth of Property : Toward an Egalitarian Theory of Ownership - John Christman

The Myth of Property

Toward an Egalitarian Theory of Ownership

Hardcover Published: 1st June 1994
ISBN: 9780195085945
Number Of Pages: 240

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The Myth of Property is the first book-length study to focus directly on the variable and complex structure of ownership. It critically analyzes what it means to own something, and it takes familiar debates about distributive justice and recasts them into discussions of the structure of ownership. The traditional notion of private property assumed by both defenders and opponents of that system is criticized and exposed as a "myth." The book then puts forward a new theory of what it means to own something, one that will be important for any theory of distributive justice. This new approach more adequately reveals the disparate social and individual values that property ownership serves to promote. The study has importance for understanding the reform of capitalist and welfare state systems, as well as the institution of market economies in former socialist states, for the view developed here makes the traditional dichotomy between private ownership capitalism and public ownership socialism obsolete. This new approach to ownership also places egalitarian principles of distributive justice in a new light and challenges critics to clarify aspects of property ownership worth protecting against calls for greater equality. The book closes by showing how defenders of egalitarianism can make use of some of the ideas and values that traditionally made private property appear to be such a pervasive human institution.

Industry Reviews

"This exceptional study...is strikingly original....Both defenders and detractors of property rights should study Christman's trenchant analysis....Highly recommended for those seriously interested in rights to property."--Choice "An interesting alternative approach to the analysis of property and ownership rights....Even if one does not accept the author's...views... there is much to like about this book....This book is worthwhile reading for anyone interested in the theory of property rights and its relation to the economic policy process."--Journal of Economic Literature "This exceptional study...is strikingly original....Both defenders and detractors of property rights should study Christman's trenchant analysis....Highly recommended for those seriously interested in rights to property."--Choice "An interesting alternative approach to the analysis of property and ownership rights....Even if one does not accept the author's...views... there is much to like about this book....This book is worthwhile reading for anyone interested in the theory of property rights and its relation to the economic policy process."--Journal of Economic Literature

Introductionp. 3
The Structure of Ownership
What, If Anything, Is Ownership?p. 15
Ownership and the Structure of the Economyp. 28
Attempts to Justify Liberal Ownership
Can Liberal Ownership Be Justified by Natural Rights?p. 47
Liberty and Liberal Ownershipp. 67
Ownership, Markets, and Moral Desertp. 84
Ownership and the Maximization of Utilityp. 98
A New Model of Ownership
The Abandonment of Liberal Ownershipp. 125
Self-Ownershipp. 147
Toward an Egalitarian Theory of Ownershipp. 161
Notesp. 185
Bibliographyp. 205
Indexp. 215
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780195085945
ISBN-10: 0195085949
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 240
Published: 1st June 1994
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 24.31 x 16.36  x 2.11
Weight (kg): 0.47

Earn 277 Qantas Points
on this Book