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Martinelli, “On Whether We Own What We Think”

Emanuele Martinelli, “On Whether We Own What We Think” (2019?):


While few argue against the moral and juridical institution of private property altogether, a much more discussed issue is that regarding intellectual property. A notable number of jurists, economists and philosophers, who would defend with no problem the right for individual to own concrete objects in the world exclusively, have nonetheless given little to no justification to legal devices such as copyright norms and patents. This paper will show how the question about intellectual property depends on the view one is willing to embrace about the nature of property and original appropriation.

Among the advocates of private property, Locke’s theory of original appropriation is held as the standard view. After brief exposition of this view and its possible flaws, we will employ Reinach’s insightful terminology for the nature of property to move on to a more Aristotelian-friendly position. In the second part of this work, by examining arguments for and against intellectual property, we will make clear how the standard view hardly offers good reasons to endorse copyright and patents, whereas the proposed alternative does.

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To the extent possible under law, Stephan Kinsella has waived all copyright and related or neighboring rights to C4SIF. This work is published from: United States. In the event the CC0 license is unenforceable a  Creative Commons License Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License is hereby granted.