Re: Property and the Law

From: Russell Blackford (
Date: Tue Jul 24 2001 - 21:53:22 MDT

Daniel said lots of stuff including:

> >> [I. Russell, wrote] Okay, I'm going to do my best to stay off this
>My best wasn't good enough, but, at least, let me rename the thread, so we
>don't have 2^n discussions going on at once under the same subject line.
> > I do have some familiarity with such accounts of property and I find
> > unconvincing. Moreover, they are difficult to reconcile with the idea of
> > property as understood by property lawyers. Without a detailed analysis
> > these accounts, however, the fact that you find them convincing and I
> > don't is not conclusive one way or the other.
>How much familiarity, since you seem unaware that many of the issues you
>bring up have been discussed before, especially in regard to civic duties,
>social responsibilities, and the limits to individual rights. It's not
>Rand et al. ignored that stuff.

Okay, I'll stop here. I really do want to extricate myself from this thread
which is looking like taking over my life at the moment and is not my
highest priority, even on this list. I said that I'd go away and think about
your citations etc and I will. And I wasn't been sarcastic in saying that I
appreciated them. I respect your philosophical writing, what I've read of
it, and I'll be happy to continue the dialogue with you in the future.

However, just to be clear where I'm coming from, I am employed as a lawyer
in one of Australia's most prestigious firms (though about to enter early,
if possibly temporary, retirement!!) so perhaps I know *something* about the
law <g>, though this is hardly conclusive evidence. I have extensive formal
study under my belt in both law and philosophy, with *very* high grades,
including first class honours results in both Property Law and Jurisprudence
(ie philosophy of law). I have read extensively in these fields and more
generally in political and ethical philosophy (as you'd know, the subject
matters of jurisprudence and political philosophy are largely the same, or
at least overlap very heavily). I have thought about the issues at great
length over the years and sometimes with all too much earnestness.

I have probably been too self-deprecating in some of my comments (but I
don't claim to have all the answers).

OTOH, all that does not mean that the issues relating to libertarianism etc
are my very highest intellectual priority. They are not. Moreover, it's true
that I'm not familiar with past discussions on this list. I've only been on
the extropians list for a month or so. Perhaps I should go and look at the
archives and not take the discussion any further until I've done so.
However, I thought I was asking Jerry and the others reasonable questions
about their political philosophies based on my knowledge of the subject.
Also, it's a bit hard on newcomers if we can't express an opinion, however
tentative, and however much we've studied the relevant issues from some
other background or vantage point that we have, unless we've pored for hours
over the wisdom in the archives.


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