The role of nature in the self-ownership proviso
Eric Mack defends a version of John Locke’s proviso. Mack applies his proviso to original appropriations, uses, and systems of private property. His proviso precludes severely disabling the world-interactive powers of others. Mack specifically warns against using concrete features of the natural world as a baseline for determine whether the proviso has been violated. While his proviso is plausible, I argue that he cannot. eschew employing the receptivity of the natural, unowned world to the extent that he suggests. We cannot determine whether one’s powers are disabled or diminished without knowing how receptive the world would be to those powers had a system of private property not arisen. The upshot of this paper is that the requirements of a well-formulated proviso is an empirical matter.
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