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Philosophical Foundations of Property Law$
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James Penner and Henry Smith

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199673582

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199673582.001.0001

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Property and Disagreement

Property and Disagreement

Chapter:
(p.289) 13 Property and Disagreement
Source:
Philosophical Foundations of Property Law
Author(s):

Stephen R. Munzer

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199673582.003.0013

Legal philosophers and property scholars have recently challenged the idea of property as a bundle of sticks — more precisely, a set of normative relations between persons with respect to things. This chapter argues that these challenges, which typically see the right to exclude as the essence of property, are unsuccessful. The challenges of interest potentially involve disagreements of three different sorts: disagreements over the definition or meaning of the word ‘property’, disagreements over the concept of property, and disagreements over the nature of property. The chapter first addresses the disagreements over the last quarter-century by looking at the phenomenon of disagreement and making use of recent philosophical literature on verbal disagreement and on concepts. It then shows that almost all of the chapter’s arguments relating to substantive disagreements that seem either partly verbal or partly conceptual can be transposed into the key of disagreements over the nature of property.

Keywords:   property rights, property theory, bundle of sticks, bundle theory

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