Epstein on Alienation: A Rejoinder

32 Pages Posted: 22 Jul 2011

See all articles by Walter E. Block

Walter E. Block

Loyola University New Orleans - Joseph A. Butt, S.J. College of Business

Date Written: July 20, 2011

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

Block, Walter E., Epstein on Alienation: A Rejoinder (July 20, 2011). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1890889 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1890889

Walter E. Block (Contact Author)

Loyola University New Orleans - Joseph A. Butt, S.J. College of Business ( email )

6363 St. Charles Avenue
Box 15, Miller 321
New Orleans, LA 70118
United States
(504) 864-7944 (Phone)
(504) 864-7970 (Fax)

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