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Human Rights and Human Well-Being$
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William Talbott

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195173482

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195173482.001.0001

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Property Rights, Contract Rights, and Other Economic Rights

Property Rights, Contract Rights, and Other Economic Rights

Chapter:
(p.199) NINE Property Rights, Contract Rights, and Other Economic Rights
Source:
Human Rights and Human Well-Being
Author(s):

William J. Talbott (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195173482.003.0009

This chapter uses the main principle to explain why economic rights should be regarded as human rights. Property rights, contract rights, and other economic rights are a solution to the productive investment CAP. Property and contract rights are not defined a priori, but should be defined in a way that they will, as a practice, do the best job of equitably promoting life prospects. The chapter uses the main principle to explain the moral appropriateness of (1) the contours of property rights to both tangible and intangible property; (2) exceptions to contracts, including unconscionability, implied warranties, strict liability, mandatory disclosure, bankruptcy; (3) the replacement of caveat emptor with caveat venditor in win-win contracts; (4) market economies; (5) negative income tax; (6) voluntary consent to economic and other transactions; (7) prohibitions on slavery contracts; (8) minimum wage legislation. The chapter contrasts his account with fair starting-point theories of justice, including Ronald Dworkin’s theory. He also contrasts his account with Richard Posner’s account of the common law in terms of economic efficiency.

Keywords:   bankruptcy law, caveat venditor, commodity value, consequentialism, contract law, copyright, Friedrich Hayek, instrumental value, intellectual property, libertarianism, main principle, patents, productive investment Richard Posner, property rights, redistribution, self-regulating system

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