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Single Idea 19873

[catalogued under 25. Society / D. Social Rights / 1. Legal Rights / b. Inalienable rights]

Full Idea

Every man has a 'property' in his own 'person'. This nobody has any right to but himself. The 'labour' of his body and the 'work' of his hands, we may say, are properly his.

Gist of Idea

We all own our bodies, and the work we do is our own


John Locke (Second Treatise of Government [1690], 027)

A Reaction

He doesn't have any grounds for this claim. Why doesn't a cow own its body? He slides from my ownership of my laborious efforts to my ownership of what I have been working on. I can't acquire your car by servicing it.

Book Reference

Locke,John: 'Two Treatises of Government' [Everyman 1988], p.130

Related Ideas

Idea 19872 The animals and fruits of the earth belong to mankind [Locke]

Idea 19874 If a man mixes his labour with something in Nature, he thereby comes to own it [Locke]

Idea 19875 A man's labour gives ownership rights - as long as there are fair shares for all [Locke]