John Locke on Ownership

John Locke no numbersJohn Locke answered many philosophical questions. One interesting point he made was his view on property. Locke believed that any property that is bought or received as a gift or as payment would be given to the receiver as 100% his property. But how is it someone can come to own something that they are not buying or receiving as a gift or receiving as payment? Locke’s answer was that an individual would have to add their labor into the item or property that they wish to own. In the 17th century lets say that there is a man in a European country. This man finds a valley that no one owns. No one has ever been there and no one has ever worked there. So our European decides that he wants to settle down and live there. Consequently, he builds a house and clears away all of the overgrowth. According to John Locke this man now owns the valley because he was the first person to add his labor to the property.

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