2010

Should one individual have, prior to any consent, property rights in another person? Libertarians answer that they should not - and that this commitment requires rejecting all positive duties. Liberal-egalitarians largely agree with the libertarian's answer to the question, but deny the corollary they draw from it, arguing that egalitarian regimes do not require other-ownership. Drawing on recent property theory I argue both sides are mistaken, and that a prohibition on other-ownership guides us towards a middling political position, both allowing and constraining our positive duties and liabilities to others.