Dan Moller (University of Maryland-College Park): "Redistribution and Self-ownership"

Wed, Apr 25, 2018, 4:30 pm to 6:00 pm
Lewis Library, Room 138

Respondent: Anna Stilz, Laurance S. Rockefeller Professor of Politics and the University Center for Human Values at Princeton University


Chair: Monique Wonderly

ABSTRACT: Debates about libertarianism and redistribution often revolve around self-ownership. There are two main reasons for this: first, self-ownership has often featured in Lockean accounts of property that endow us with a claim to the resources that are up for redistribution. Second, self-ownership has sometimes been mustered by way of resisting the additional labor that is said to be required by redistributive schemes. In this paper, I argue that these appeals to self-ownership are misguided. However, unlike most critics of these appeals, I don't wish to claim that redistribution is therefore vindicated. On the contrary, my main goal is to show that there are alternatives to invoking self-ownership that are more effective and that better capture the core intuition behind libertarian objections to redistribution.

BIO: Dan Moller is associate professor of philosophy at the University of Maryland. His book "Governing Least: a New England Libertarianism" is forthcoming with Oxford University Press.