Ernest Weinrib, ‘Ownership, Use, and Exclusivity: The Kantian Approach’

Ownership combines the owner’s right to exclude others from the owned object and the owner’s liberty to use that object. This article addresses the relationship between using and excluding, by presenting Grotius’s and Kant’s classic accounts of ownership. Grotius’s approach treats use and exclusivity as separate notions, with the latter evolving out of the former. For Kant, in contrast, use and exclusivity are integrated aspects of ownership as a right within a regime of equal reciprocal freedom. This article offers a Kantian critique of Grotius’s account of the original right to use, and then presents Kant’s notion of usability as the basis for his integration of use and exclusivity.

Ernest J Weinrib, Ownership, Use, and Exclusivity: The Kantian Approach, Ratio Juris. First published: June 2018.

First posted 2018-05-03 06:39:40

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