Philosophical Approaches to Intellectual Property Law Scholarship
Handbook on Intellectual Property Research (Irene Calboli & Maria Lillà Montagnani, eds.), Oxford University Press 2021
13 Pages Posted: 19 Nov 2018 Last revised: 22 Oct 2021
Date Written: October 25, 2018
Intellectual property (IP) law and philosophy is an interdisciplinary approach to scholarship that applies insights and methods from philosophy to the legal, normative, theoretical, political, and empirical questions presented by the project of organizing and regulating the creation and dissemination of knowledge, technology, and culture. In this chapter, I outline four types of IP-law-and-philosophy scholarship, focusing specifically on the discipline of analytic philosophy (with appropriate caveats about the coherence of that discipline). These modes of scholarship can be categorized as (1) the jurisprudence of the IP system, (2) philosophical analysis of IP law, (3) applied philosophy in IP, and (4) normative theory of IP. Category (4) is obviously a special case of category (3), focusing specifically on applications of moral philosophy. Within each category, I provide illustrative examples of past scholarship and suggestions for further research.
Keywords: law and philosophy, intellectual property, legal scholarship, jurisprudence, copyright, patent, trademark, law and economics, normative theory
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