The paradox of self-ownership

 

 

Political libertarians endorse the following propositions or some qualified version of them:

(1)  Each person owns themselves.

(2)  Each person owns the products of their labour.

 

The paradox of self-ownership is an objection to this doctrine. Each person is the product of their parentsí labour. So from (2), their parents own them, which contradicts (1). Sir Robert Filmer originally introduced a version of this objection, although he only emphasized the fatherís labour and ownership right.

 

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