The naturalization of private ownership

Caroline Guibet-Lafaye

Table of Contents


When property and its origin have been conceived in the history of philosophy, they have been interpreted in the framework of nature, including at a time when property, both private and common, was already regulated by a system of legal norms. Property and its legitimacy were then considered on the borders of facts (such as appropriation) and law. Nevertheless, the foregrounding of a natural necessity and the interpretation of the appropriation in a naturalistic framework tend to set property aside from the issue of distributive justice. Furthermore, the naturalistic perspective on private appropriation involves a pragmatic use of the legal norm. The latter reverses “Hume’s law” even though the legal norm could also be legitimately considered to justify the “ought” rather than to establish, in legal terms, an empirical state of the world.


  • property
  • appropriation
  • family
  • legal norm
  • Locke

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