Property Rights and Freedom

Conference for Students – October 9-11, 2015

Discussion Leader: Dr. Emily Chamlee-Wright, Economics, Washington College

Session I – Origins of Property Rights

Pipes, Richard. Property and Freedom. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1999. Chapter 1, “The Idea of Property” (pages 3–63) and notes (pages 293–298).

Session II – Philosophical Bases for Property Rights

Locke, John. Two Treatises of Government (Student Edition). Edited by Peter Laslett. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988. Chapter 5, “Of Property” (pages 285–302).

Nozick, Robert. Anarchy, State and Utopia. New York: Basic Books, Inc., 1974. Selection from Chapter 7, “Distributive Justice” (pages 149–182) and notes (pages 344–345).

Session III – Critiques of Property Rights

Cohen, G. A. Self-ownership, Freedom, and Equality. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995. Chapter 3, “Self-Ownership, World-Ownership and Equality” (pages 67–91).

Murphy, Liam and Thomas Nagel. The Myth of Ownership: Taxes and Justice. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Chapter 1, “Introduction” (pages 3–11), selection from Chapter 2, Part VII, “The Problem of Everyday Libertarianism” (pages 31–37), and notes (pages 191 and 196).

Session IV – Markets and Property Rights

Demsetz, Harold. “Toward a Theory of Property Rights.” American Economic Review 57, no. 2 (1967): 347–359.

North, Douglass C. and Robert Paul Thomas. The Rise of the Western World: A New Economic History. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1973, 1999, 2006. Chapter 1, “The Issue” (pages 1–8), Chapter 2, “An Overview” (pages 9–18), and Chapter 3, “Property Rights in Land and Man” (pages 19–24).

Session V – Property Rights and the Rule of Law

Hume, David. A Treatise of Human Nature. Edited by David Fate Norton and Mary J. Norton. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000. Part 2: The Text: Book 3, Part 2, Section 2, “Of the origin of justice and property” (pages 311–322), Section 3, “Of the rules, which determine property” (pages 322–330), and Section 4, “Of the transference of property by consent” (pages 330–331).

Epstein, Richard A. “Property Rights and the Rule of Law: Classical Liberalism Confronts the Modern Administrative State.” Mont Pelerin Society Meeting, Sweden, August 17, 2009.

Session VI – Common and Private Property Rights

Hardin, Garrett. “The Tragedy of the Commons.” Science 162, no. 3859 (December 1968): 1243–1248.

Ostrom, Elinor. Governing the Commons: The Evolution of Institutions for Collective Action. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990. Chapter 1, “Reflections on the Commons” (pages 1–28).