Self-Ownership, Freedom, and Equality
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.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
Other editions - View all
affirmation Anarchy andthe appropriation argument asset distribution autonomy capitalism capitalist Chamberlain Chapter claim communism communist concept counterexamples critique doesnot donot Dworkin egalitarian endowment entitlement equality of condition example exchangevalue exploitation external resources freedom fromthe gate theory Gauthier Ibid individual inequality Infirm injustice inthe inwhich isan isnot isthe itis John Roemer justice justified Kant’s labour power laissezfaire land leftwing libertarianism liberty Locke Locke’s Lockean Lockean proviso market socialism Marx Marx’s Marxists means of production moral nature noncontractual normative Nozick objection ofits ofthe one’s onthe ownership people’s person political philosophy possible premiss principle of selfownership private property proviso question Rawls reason redistribution reject requires Robert Nozick Roemer Ronald Dworkin self selfowning sense slavery social socialist society suppose thatI thatthe Theory of Justice thereby thesis of selfownership things tobe tothe transactions Tully unequal unjust usevalue voluntary whichis Wilt Chamberlain withthe workers worldly resources wouldbe