Lockean Freedom and the Proviso's Appeal to Scientific Knowledge

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This paper argues that Locke and contemporary Lockeans underestimate the problems involved in their frequent, implicit assumption that when we apply the proviso we use the latest scientific knowledge of natural resources, technology and the economy’s operations. Problematic for these theories is that much of the pertinent knowledge used is obtained through particular persons’ labour. If the knowledge obtained through individuals’ labour must be made available to everyone and if particular persons’ new knowledge affects the proviso’s proper application, then some end up without freedom to pursue their own ends and some find their freedom subject to others’ arbitrary will.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalSocial Theory & Practice
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2010


  • Property rights
  • Natural resources
  • Personal property
  • Property
  • Scientific knowledge
  • Agricultural land
  • scarcity
  • Natural persons
  • geology
  • state of nature
  • farmers
  • self preservation

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