Epstein on Alienation: A Rejoinder
32 Pages Posted: 22 Jul 2011
Date Written: July 20, 2011
Inalienability is the doctrine that there are certain possessions, attributes, characteristics which should not legally be allowed to be sold, or even given away. Instances under contention include blood, babies for adoption, and even liberty itself. If these are inalienable, they may not be disposed of by their owner in any way.
Alienability, in contrast, is the notion that the legitimate owner of anything may bestow it on any willing recipient, whether by sale or gift. If the items mentioned above are alienable, there will be markets in human blood, for babies, and people will be allowed to sell themselves into slavery, should they find a willing buyer.
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