Understanding the Concept of Property
Often described as a system of rights over valuable things, property is a complex concept that has evolved in different societies. It is a subject of debate, and different scholarly disciplines may take different approaches to it.
Some philosophers believe that the right to own and use property arises from natural law, while others say it is a social convention. Still other philosophers maintain that the concept of property is based on morality. Whatever the answer to the question, it is important to understand the difference between different types of property.
The most common types of property are personal and government-owned. Each type requires a different amount of state intervention. In terms of property, the human body is a good example of the difference between private and public. In fact, the ownership of the human body is discussed in the context of conscription, euthanasia, and organ donation.
Another distinction to make is between movable and immovable property. Movable property refers to objects that can be moved without harm to them. These include chattels and furniture. On the other hand, immovable property is a piece of land or an object that can’t be moved. A house is a good example of an immovable property.
A third, more technical category of property is intangible property. Intangible property is an asset that carries no physical existence and is used for something, such as a trademark or copyright. Some examples of intangible property include computer software, patents, trademarks, financial assets, and franchises. A person’s intellectual property rights also fall into this category. These rights can be used by more than one party at a time.
These different types of property carry different rules for classification and usage. For instance, a computer can be classified as a government-owned asset, while a patent is considered intangible property. Other forms of intangible property are securities, copyrights, and trademarks.
The classification of property can be complicated because it can be both tangible and intangible. The definition of intangible property is often framed in negative terms. In other words, an intangible asset doesn’t have an intrinsic value, and so a person’s possession of it cannot contradict the ends of the possessor.
However, some argue that the concept of intangible property is invalid because of a scarcity justification. For instance, a piece of land with an intensive property such as volume or mass is not valid because the state is not able to control the resources without the person’s possession. A more extreme example is when a business owner is liable for medical expenses incurred by a customer who was injured on company grounds.
Intangible property may also be subject to expiration when it becomes inherited. When an intangible asset is inherited, it is then categorized as intellectual property. The laws of intellectual property are regulated by contract rather than by the government. The owner of an intangible asset hires a lawyer to protect his or her assets from infringement.