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:: Events :: On June 8 – 10th, will take place The Intesive Phd Research Course “From Holding to Owning – The Origin and Justification of Property Rights” , at the Centre for the Study of Mind in Nature (CSMN), University of Oslo.
Date: 8-10th June, 2015
Location: Centre for the Study of Mind in Nature (CSMN), University of Oslo


In this intensive PhD course we will explore the philosophical foundations
of the right to property and the limits that it ought to be subject to.
Because of the brevity of the course and the gigantic literature on property
rights, their justification and limits, we will focus on two particular
accounts from the modern natural law tradition: Hugo Grotius’s genealogical
account of property from pre-institutional possession to institutional
ownership, and John Locke’s classic definition of property as that which
results from mixing one’s labor with nature. However different, what they
share is the attempt to naturalize what they take to be a basic human right,
setting at the same time quite stringent limitations for its exercise.
Given the pervasive influence that both of these accounts (especially the
Lockean one) still have for justifying property rights today, we will then
revise two of their contemporary manifestations and the main critiques that
they confront.


This two-day course consists of six lectures and bibliographic discussion,
to be preceded by a one-day workshop on the concept of a ‘right of
necessity’ as connected and setting limits to property rights.


Workshop: “A place for the old right of necessity in the contemporary debate
on global poverty.” Papers by Siegfried Van Duffel, Dennis Klimchuk, Virpi
Mäkinen and Alejandra Mancilla, to be pre-circulated and read in advance.
More information can be found at:


Lecture 1. Introduction. Moral and political philosophy in the early modern
natural law tradition.
Lecture 2. Grotius’s account of how property is acquired.
Lecture 3. A contemporary Grotian: Mathias Risse.

Lecture 4. Locke’s account of how property is acquired.
Lecture 5. A contemporary Lockean: Robert Nozick.
Lecture 6. Critique and wrap-up.

An article of approximately 7000 words (15 pages) based on the primary and
secondary bibliography provided, or other bibliography agreed on in advance
with the organizer.



Grotius, Hugo. 2005. The Rights of War and Peace. Edited by Richard Tuck.
Indianapolis: Liberty Fund. Original edition, 1625. Book II, chapters II and
III, pp. 420-482.
Locke, John. 1988. Two Treatises of Government. Edited by Peter Laslett.
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Second Treatise, chapter V, pp. 285-302.
Nozick, Robert. 1974. Anarchy, State and Utopia. New York: Basic Books.
‘Locke’s theory of acquisition’, pp. 174-182.
Risse, Mathias. 2012. On Global Justice: Princeton University Press.
Chapters 5 and 6, pp. 86-129.
*** Plus: the papers of the workshop, which will be pre-circulated.


Buckle, Stephen. 1991. Natural Law and the Theory of Property: Grotius to
Hume. New York: Clarendon Press.
Garnsey, Peter. 2007. Thinking about Property: Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press.
Grotius, Hugo. 2004. The Free Sea. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund.
Klimchuk, Dennis. 2013. ‘Property and necessity.’ In The Philosophical
Foundations of Property Law, Penner and Smith (eds). Oxford: Oxford
University Press.
Mancilla, Alejandra. 2013. Det vi eide førfast eiendom. Hugo Grotius og suum
(What We Own Before Property: Hugo Grotius and the suum).” Arr, idéhistorisk
tiddskrift 3:3-14.
Mautner, Thomas. 1982. ‘Locke on Original Appropriation.’ American
Philosophical Quarterly 19 (3):259-270.
Olivecrona, Karl. 1974. ‘Locke’s Theory of Appropriation.’ The Philosophical
Quarterly 24 (96):220-234.
Olivecrona, Karl. 1989. ‘Appropriation in the State of Nature: Locke on the
Origin of Property.’ In Modern Political Theory from Hobbes to Marx: Key
Debates, edited by Jack Lively and Andrew Reeve. New York Routledge.
Original edition, 1974.
Risse, Mathias. 2009. ‘Common Ownership of the Earth as a Non-Parochial
Standpoint: A Contingent Derivation of Human Rights.’ European Journal of
Philosophy 17 (2):277-304.
Simmons, A. John. 1992. The Lockean Theory of Rights. Princeton: Princeton
University Press.
Waldron, Jeremy. 1990. The Right to Private Property. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Those interested in taking part in the course should contact the instructor,
Alejandra Mancilla, at alejandra.mancilla@ifikk.uio.no

The workshop preceding this course has been generously funded by the Society
for Applied Philosophy, and sponsored by the Centre for the Study of Mind in
Nature (CSMN), University of Oslo.