The Only Two Problems with the Idea of Self-Ownership

'I was dead wrong. There are two main problems with the idea of self-ownership -- the "self" part, and the "ownership" part.' -- Ed Feser

Read the whole thing.


  1. Anonymous10:21 AM

    I've read about 3/4 of it, but my tiny brain has to think more about the implications. I will say, however, that your comment on the page is spot on.

  2. Then there is the problem with reading someone so full of himself. Go read that again and note how much he refers to himself.
    I gave up reading him years ago. His little anti-self owner-ship word magic wasn't impressive then either, and trudging through paragraph after paragraph of narcissism for such a dubious pay off makes no sense.

    1. August, your charge may or may not be correct, but...
      This was a *autobiographical* piece! It's really not very odd to mention oneself a bit in a work of autobiography, is it?

      "His little anti-self owner-ship word magic wasn't impressive then either..."

      Word magic? He provides long, substantive arguments for the emptiness of the concept. But I suppose it is easier to call this "word magic" if it helps maintain those beliefs!

  3. This is the same Feser, autobiographical or not. At one time he just kept arguing with this same guy over and over again- and the argument seemed to be about Feser, not whatever the original subject was.
    The simple thing to do is point out Rothbard is wrong and any sort of property right to self must be serious enough to merit being able to get out of the womb alive. In other words, parents are the actors. It is a bad magic trick to focus on the property right when the act is the issue. A kidnapper cannot claim it just to let his victim die just because his victim happens to be on his property- the victim's self-ownership trumps all this other silliness. I suspect this is what Rothbard gets for trying to lie strategically; he never attracted any feminists and Feser's arguments likely serve the purgatorial function well.

    1. "he never attracted any feminists"

      Well, there was Wendy McElroy. :-)

  4. I don't know what to think of self-ownership anymore, but this seems like too simplistic of an argument to be a good one, like arguments for self-ownership that cite the use of possessive words when speaking about one's body.


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