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Age Of Access? The Place Of Property In Critical Theory

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Chapter Summary

In this chapter, the author wishes to show briefly that the history of modern capitalist society cannot be reduced to a history of and apologia for the limitless expansion of property. Critical Theory is interesting because it broke with both liberal and Marxist critiques of property. The author explains that the neglect by critical theorists of the persistent implications of property would not be a matter for regret, were it not for the fact that contemporary societies are still marked by a host of social conflicts that can be described only as conflicts about property. These include conflicts about intellectual property rights such as patents, disputes about control of and trade with one's own body parts, and lastly, disputes about land rights. In light of this, the author discusses how a recognition theory of justice helps us to better describe and evaluate contemporary struggles over property institutions.

Keywords: Critical Theory; global justice; intellectual property



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