Description

This is Episode 50 of the Patterson in Pursuit podcast, where host Steve Patterson interviews me about Hans-Hermann Hoppe’s argumentation ethics. Patterson’s description:

If we choose to argue, have we presupposed an ethical framework? Is “self-ownership” a concept that cannot coherently be doubted?

To help me answer these questions, I’m joined by one of the most prominent supporters of “argumentation ethics” – the theory that says ownership is inescapable, and as soon as we choose to argue, we’re committed to a set of ethical values.

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  • Can you tell me the declarative sentence that Hoppe claims is implicit in argumentation, the one that contradicts other ideas about property? Here is my best try: I have property in my body and I gain ownership of something that is unowned when I mix my labor with it. The statement implicit in criticisms of property would be: No one has property in their bodies and no one gains ownership of anything by mixing their labor with unowned stuff. I’ve tried to be fair to Hoppe but I don’t think this sentence works. If you think I’ve got it wrong, please suggest a better candidate sentence (not a phrase, not a hand wave, a declarative sentence). If mine stinks, give me a better one. Supporters of Hoppe should be able to either defend this sentence or give one that they can defend. I see a problem with unpacking “property” and “ownership” in a way that holds up all the weight Hoppe puts on this concept.

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