chapter  6
22 Pages

The Value of Values: The Importance of Autonomy in Contractarian Reasoning

Lockean libertarianism holds that agents have the moral power to acquire private property in external things as long as a Lockean Proviso requiring that 'enough and as good' be left for others is satisfied. Radical right-libertarianism, on the other hand, holds that satisfaction of a Lockean Proviso is not necessary for the appropriation of unowned things. This chapter argues that satisfaction of a Lockean Proviso is indeed a necessary condition for the appropriation of unowned things. Equal opportunity left-libertarianism interprets the Lockean Proviso as requiring that no one be worse off than she would be if no one appropriated more than is compatible with everyone having an equally valuable opportunity for well-being. If one believes that the property rights of creators over their creations are not subject to a Lockean Proviso, then Israel Kirzner's claim, if correct, provides a strong reason for thinking that a Lockean Proviso is not needed in at least many cases of initial acquisition.