more from David Hume

Single Idea 6581

[catalogued under 25. Society / C. Social Justice / 4. Legal Rights / c. Property rights]

Full Idea

Hume thought (in contrast to Locke) that property reflects a conventional (rather than natural) relationship determined by the laws that protect people from having things taken from them.

Gist of Idea

Hume thought (unlike Locke) that property is a merely conventional relationship


report of David Hume (Nine political essays [1741]) by Robert Fogelin - Walking the Tightrope of Reason Ch.3

Book Reference

Fogelin,Robert: 'Walking the Tightrope of Reason' [OUP 2004], p.75

A Reaction

It seems pretty obvious that the idea of property was invented by the powerful, to protect their gains against the weak. I suspect that you might till a piece of land simply in order to assert ownership of it, just as you might bring in colonists.