Who's afraid of property rights? Rights as core concepts, coherent, prima facie, situated and specified
MetadataShow full item record
Natural property rights are widely viewed as anathema to welfarist taxation, and are pictured as non-contextual, non-relational and resistant to regulation. Here, I argue that many of the major arguments for such views are flawed. Such arguments trade on an ambiguity in the term 'right' that makes it possible to conflate the core concept of a right with a situated or specified right from which one can read off people's actual legal entitlements and duties. I marshal several arguments demonstrating this conflation. In particular, I examine the right to free speech, where contextualization and responsiveness to the requirements of other rights are assumed as a matter of course. I conclude that the existence of one natural right does not foreclose the existence of other natural rights. Arguments for or against welfare rights must be assessed, at least to some extent, independently of the assertion of a natural property right.
Law and Philosophy
© 2013 Springer Netherlands. This is an electronic version of an article published in Law and Philosophy, September 2014, Volume 33, Issue 5, pp 573-603. Law and Philosophy is available online at: http://link.springer.com/ with the open URL of your article.