Conference on the Problem of Self-Ownership




The Problem of Self-Ownership

The 36.2 issue of Social Philosophy & Policy focuses on the problem of self-ownership.

We asked participants to reflect on self-ownership: its practical and philosophical roles, its history, rights and/or duties it entails, and its economical and ethical relationship with responsibility. Authors considered a variety of questions, such as: How does the idea of self-ownership actually work in the real world? Do some (or all) of our relationships presuppose that we are relating to each other as self-owners? What are the contours of self-ownership in actual practice, and when do we disagree about them? What does self-ownership entail, and how is it different from other sorts of ownership? Does self-ownership rule out a right to impose negative externalities on each other? Does it entail a person’s right to say no to plans to use her body (or her labor) in a certain way? Does the idea of a society of free and responsible individuals imply more than is implied by the idea of a society of (merely?) free individuals? Does the idea of self-ownership entail that market participants have a right to walk away from offers that they find unattractive? Does economic efficiency presuppose legal self-ownership?

By bringing together scholars and luminaries in philosophy, economics and political theory, we hope to create a productive and stimulating weekend. Papers from this conference will be featured in the winter 2019 issue of Social Philosophy & Policy. The guest editor for this issue is Bas Van der Vossen, associate professor in the Smith Institute for Political Economy and Philosophy, as well as the philosophy department at Chapman University.

Our distinguished list of authors include:

  • Ben  Bryan,  Scholar  in  Residence,  University  of  Colorado  at  Boulder
  • Ian  Carter,  Professor  of  Political  Philosophy,  University  of  Pavia
  • Ann  Cudd,  Professor  of  Philosophy,  Boston  University
  • Jessica  Flanigan,  Assistant  Professor,  University  of  Richmond
  • Amanda  Greene,  Lecturer,  University  College  London
  • Chandran  Kukathas,  Professor,  London  School  of  Economics
  • Seth  Lazar,  Associate  Professor,  Australian  National  University
  • Alejandra  Mancilla,  Associate  Professor,  University  of  Oslo
  • Dan  Moller,  Assistant  Professor,  University  of  Maryland
  • Johan  Olsthoorn,  Research  Fellow,  University  of  Warwick
  • Dan  Russell,  Professor  of  Philosophy,  University  of  Arizona
  • Victor  Tadros,  Professor,  University  of  Warwick
  • John Thrasher, Assistant Professor, Chapman University