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Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Happy Birthday John Locke

Thanks to Rick Garnett at PrawfsBlawg for noting that today is Locke's birthday.  At the end of his post, Rick asks a great question:  "Which term is more often used (or misused) in law-school classes:  "Lockean", "Kantian", or "Rawlsian"?"  In property, it's got to be "Lockean", and a commenter to Rick's post has this good observation:

All three are miss-used quite regularly, but probably Rawls the most these days simply because he's "fresher". Most invocations of all three in law schools are not very good, in my opinion, but the miss-use of Locke and Rawls comes from different areas. In the case of Locke it's usually from libertarians who invoke what they think to be his account of property but mostly just show that they've never bothered to read the second treatis with any care, if they've read it at all, since Locke quite clearly doesn't have a libertarian account of property and it's not all that obvious how you could derive one from his actual view.

Ben Barros

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