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Property, the environment, and the Lockean Proviso

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 December 2020

Bas van der Vossen
Affiliation:
Philosophy Department, Smith Institute for Political Economy and Philosophy, Chapman University, Orange, California, USA
Corresponding
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Abstract

It is common to posit a clear opposition between the values served by property systems and the value of the environment. To give the environment its due, this view holds, the role of private property needs to be limited. Support for this has been said to be found in Locke’s famous ‘enough and as good’ proviso. This article shows that this opposition is mistaken, and corrects the implied reading of Locke’s proviso. In reality, there is no opposition between property and the environment. This is shown using Locke’s theory of appropriation, as well as the real-life case of instream water appropriation.

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© The Author(s), 2020. Published by Cambridge University Press

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