Understanding the Concept of Property
Generally, property is a system of rights over valuable things. These rights include the right to own, transfer, and use them. They also include the right to give them away, and the right to sell them. These rights may be derived from social convention, natural law, or both.
Some common forms of property are real estate, personal property, and intellectual property. These are all distinct, and each type has its own rules for classification. They are also governed by different amounts of state intervention.
Most people understand property as a physical thing. This can be in the form of an object, such as a house, or it can be an intangible item, such as a computer. While a house may fall under the category of real estate, an intangible item such as a computer is more likely to be considered intellectual property.
Generally, there are two main types of property: immovable and movable. Moving property is defined as an item that can be moved without harm. A movable item is usually land. However, the phrase is also used to refer to objects that are attached to the earth, such as trees.
The most widespread types of property are government-owned, private, and personal. There are other, less commonly recognized, types of property. These include intangibles, such as trademarks, copyrights, and patents. These types of property are regulated by contracts, rather than government arbitration.
Some scholarly disciplines have examined the concept of property more rigorously. For example, Pauline Peters argued that a property system is not isolated from the social fabric of a society. Her argument, based on historical events such as the French Revolution and the restoration of monarchy, led to a rethinking of property.
In a discussion of human rights, James Harrington suggests that political power may be determined by how much of a society’s property commoners own. He asserts that the worst possible scenario is when half of a nation’s property is held by the commoners. This idea was supported by Benjamin Tucker, who emphasized the telos of property.
Some philosophers assert that the source of property rights is natural law or morality. Others argue that they arise from social convention. While there are many different theories of property, the most commonly accepted theories are those that are based on a labor theory of property.
The Labor theory of property posits that individuals own their own lives. This is a liberal philosophy, and it subscribes to the belief that products of life can be traded freely. The idea that property rights arose from natural law, however, is conservative. conservatism maintains that the more widespread private ownership of property is beneficial to economic stability, and productivity.
There are a number of other theories of property, which differ depending on the society in which they are developed. Conservatives believe that forced leveling of property is not a productive economic practice. Similarly, the classical theory of liberalism holds that the products of life can be freely traded. This view is often criticized by those who advocate general collective ownership of all property.