PHIL 1034 Lecture 18: Lecture 18 - Locke on Property 10.22.15

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Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness
Locke on Property
John Locke
Lecture Notes
-Locke doesn’t believe in joint ownership because it would defeat it’s ownership because it
would deny the basic concept of self-preservation
-Locke says God gave it to us in common
-Person is their self owner in relations to other human beings, but ultimately are God’s
What are the limits on private appropriation?
-One must
-If one is unable to use their materials owned for their self-preservation, then they cannot be in
possession of it
-God didn’t make anything to be spoiled
-Locke’s Labor Theory of Property - theory of original appropriation
¥Leave enough of the material and make sure that it’s as good for others
-Leave enough for others to secure their subsistence
¥Applies only to mixing of labor with previously unowned materials
¥Thus, generally it’s only in the state of nature
¥The first thing needed for such is to mix your labor with the external resource X
-Locke thinks that the person who cultivates land and appropriates it, is providing a service by
making the land able to sustain much more people
How does the introduction of money allow for larger appropriations?
-If enough people start to engage in the form of trade between money and goods then it’s
-Locke says the important thing about money is that it allows you to not let things spoil but it
still allows you to build up your “stockpile“
-You can legitimately appropriate as long as you maintain a set and productive manner
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