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Original Acquisition of Private Property

Leif Wenar
Mind
Vol. 107, No. 428 (Oct., 1998), pp. 799-819
Published by: Oxford University Press on behalf of the Mind Association
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2659784
Page Count: 21
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Original Acquisition of Private Property
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Abstract

Suppose libertarians could prove that durable, unqualified private property rights could be created through "original acquisition" of unowned resources in a state of nature. Such a proof would cast serious doubt on the legitimacy of the modem state. It could also render the approach to property rights that I favour irrelevant. I argue here that none of the familiar Lockean-libertarian arguments for a strong natural right to acquisition succeed, and that any successful argument for grounding a right to acquire would have to use my favoured approach to property rights-the "vector-sum" approach. I conclude with some doubts about original acquisition theory and natural property rights.

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