Once More into the Breach of Self-Ownership: Reply to Narveson and Brenkert
Author: Cohen, G.A.
Source: The Journal of Ethics, Volume 2, Number 1, 1998 , pp. 57-96(40)
Abstract:In reply to Narveson, I distinguish his ``no-proviso'' argument from his ``liberty'' argument, and I show that both fail. I also argue that interference lacks the strategic status he assigns to it, because it cannot be appropriately distinguished, conceptually and morally, from prevention; that natural resources do enjoy the importance he denies they have; that laissez-faire economies lack the superiority he attributes to them; that ownership can indeed be a reflexive relation; that anti-paternalism does not entail libertarianism; and that he misrepresents the doctrines of a number of philosophers, including John Locke, Ronald Dworkin, and myself. In reply to Brenkert, I show that he seriously misconstrues my view of the nature of freedom, and of its relationship to self-ownership. I then refute his criticisms of my treatment of the contrasts between self-ownership, on the one hand, and autonomy and non-slavery, on the other. I also show that his attempt to ``exorcize the demon of self-ownership'' is multiply flawed.
Document Type: Regular Paper
Affiliations: All Souls College, Oxford, OX1 4AL, England
Publication date: 1998