Self-Ownership, Freedom, and Equalityby G. A. Cohen, Cohen G. a.
Pub. Date: 10/28/2003
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
In this book one of the world's leading political philosophers examines the libertarian principle of self-ownership, which says that each person belongs to himself and therefore owes no service or product to anyone else. This principle is used to defend capitalist inequality, which is said to reflect each person's freedom to do as he wishes with himself.
The author argues that self-ownership cannot deliver the freedom it promises to secure, thereby undermining the idea that lovers of freedom should embrace capitalism and the inequality that comes with it. He goes on to show that the standard Marxist condemnation of exploitation implies an endorsement of self-ownership, since, in the Marxist conception, the employer steals from the worker what should belong to her, because she produced it. Thereby a deeply inegalitarian notion has penetrated what is in aspiration an egalitarian theory. Purging that notion from socialist thought, he argues, enables construction of a more consistent egalitarianism.
Table of Contents
|Introduction: history, ethics and Marxism||1|
|1||Robert Nozick and Wilt Chamberlain: how patterns preserve liberty||19|
|2||Justice, freedom, and market transactions||38|
|3||Self-ownership, world-ownership, and equality||67|
|4||Are freedom and equality compatible?||92|
|5||Self-ownership, communism, and equality: against the Marxist technological fix||116|
|6||Marxism and contemporary political philosophy, or: why Nozick exercises some Marxists more than he does any egalitarian liberals||144|
|7||Marx and Locke on land and labour||165|
|8||Exploitation in Marx: what makes it unjust?||195|
|9||Self-ownership: delineating the concept||209|
|10||Self-ownership: assessing the thesis||229|
|11||The future of a disillusion||245|
|Index of names||272|
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