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So the whole positive/negative rights dichotomy--never quite liked it myself--is one of the major themes present in libertarianism and Objectivism. It exists in the wider field of political science, but it's not raised much as an issue. Most people, even if they're political junkies, probably haven't heard of it. "Positive rights" are the prevailing problem libertarians and O'ists face, as you know, because it involves, as they see it, expansion of government power. Negative right: A duty imposed on others to refrain from acting. Positive right: A duty imposed on others to act. A "right to
Original property is newly invented or newly discovered. It had no previous owner. In fact, it did not exist – or its existence was not perceived – until the original inventor created it or the original discoverer found it. How do we recognize such property? What rights does the inventor or discoverer hold? Are some or all of those those objective, absolute, or conditional? A sailor finds an uninhabited island. Can she claim the whole thing for herself? An astronaut lands on an asteroid, a moon, or a planet. Can she claim the whole thing for herself? A physicist discovers a new form
I regret very much the proliferation of legal threads (mostly my doing) that have little relevance to Objectivism. Philosophy of law was a blank page in Rand's work, said to be an elaboration of ethics. Maybe what we should be discussing is whether she articulated a coherent theory of ethics? I like the virtue of selfishness, so that's not an issue for me, and I regard "evil requires the sanction of victim" as a profound achievement. But it's fairly clear that Rand and many of her most faithful acolytes (myself included) had miserable lives. It gives me the heebie-jeebies to think of Peikoff a
Before my foray into this forum, property was never a topic that was on my mind's radar except only tangentially when discussing/pondering certain subjects (i.e., proprietary versus open source software, corporate republics, roads, etc.). In my mind different law dealt with different things to meet new issues (i.e., aviation, cyberspace, actual space, etc.) and property was just a mundane topic in the background that these things may or may not have touched upon. Animals were animals, money was money, taxes were taxes, construction law was construction law, and so on. It's not too hard to imag