Ownership, Use, and Exclusivity: The Kantian Approach

16 Pages Posted: 3 May 2018

See all articles by Ernest J. Weinrib

Ernest J. Weinrib

University of Toronto - Faculty of Law

Date Written: June 2018


Ownership combines the owner's right to exclude others from the owned object and the owner's liberty to use that object. This article addresses the relationship between using and excluding, by presenting Grotius's and Kant's classic accounts of ownership. Grotius's approach treats use and exclusivity as separate notions, with the latter evolving out of the former. For Kant, in contrast, use and exclusivity are integrated aspects of ownership as a right within a regime of equal reciprocal freedom. This article offers a Kantian critique of Grotius's account of the original right to use, and then presents Kant's notion of usability as the basis for his integration of use and exclusivity.

Suggested Citation

Weinrib, Ernest J., Ownership, Use, and Exclusivity: The Kantian Approach (June 2018). Ratio Juris, Vol. 31, Issue 2, pp. 123-138, 2018, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3172415 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/raju.12200

Ernest J. Weinrib (Contact Author)

University of Toronto - Faculty of Law ( email )

78 and 84 Queen's Park
Toronto, Ontario M5S 2C5

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