This is my appearance on the Fallible Animals podcast, Episode 12: Property Rights, Argumentation Ethics, and Praxeology with Stephan Kinsella (Apple podcastsSpotify version; Youtube version embedded below), with host Logan Chipkin. 

From Logan’s shownotes:

“Joining me today is patent attorney and libertarian theorist Stephan Kinsella. Mr. Kinsella is the author of the book, Against Intellectual Property, and is the founder and director of the Center for the Study of Innovative Freedom. He is also the founder and editor of Libertarians Papers, and he’s a member of the Editorial Board of Reason Papers.

We cover a wide range of specific topics, from property rights, argumentation ethics, whether or not praxeology is falsifiable, common arguments against the existence or morality of anarcho-capitalism, and potential connections between praxeology, free will, and constructor theory.

Stephan Kinsella’s website –

Stephan Kinsella’s Twitter –

Mises: Keep It Interesting –

A Libertarian Theory of Contract: Title Transfer, Binding Promises, Inalienability –

How We Come to Own Ourselves –

Against Intellectual Property –

Twitter –

Website –

Patreon – “

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Meet the hosts


  • What role (if any) should the gov’t play in the continued funding of cutting-edge scientific research? According to the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and  Development), approximately 10% of all R&D conducted globally is directly funded by governments, with approximately 60% done by private industry and 20% by educational institutions. Granted, this number probably doesn’t take into account indirect gov’t funding through tax subsidies and incentives. That 10% goes towards projects on the cutting edge of science, such as NASAs various space ventures and the Large Hadron Collider at CERN (funded through the governments of the member states). Proponents of big gov’t science, such as Neil Degrasse Tyson, have stated in the past that projects like these are unlikely to be privately funded due to their high risk, high cost, and lack of return on investment. Gov’t, claims Tyson, is required to make the initial step and take all the risk so that private firms can follow in its wake with a clear picture of the requirements of such endeavours. TAM 2011: Our Future in Space Would such high risk, high cost projects be possible without gov’t backing?

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  • Dominance, Sharing, and Privacy gives us a simplified (maybe oversimplified), and intuitive way to categorize human sociality. Instead of thinking of social structures as being diverse and too complicated to be categorized, these three categories allow us to classify behaviors that address conflict as one of three types or a combination of the three.  For example, might makes right is not really a property norm but it is a dominance strategy. The ethic that the world belongs to everyone is not an alternative property norm, it is the nullification of property in favor of a sharing norm.  The violent defense of a territory is not a might makes right or dominance behavior but is the defense of privacy. The reluctance to intrude on others prior establish territory is not just a fear of retaliation but a respect for privacy.   For moe read: Dominance, Sharing, and Privacy (DSP), The Three Principles of Sociality  

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  • If the state was abolished but private property was not then wouldn’t landlords effectively become the state? There are a lot of similarities between a landlord and a state.  They both hold territory that they can exclude people from.  A proprietor can tell their tenants what to do while they are on their property. Taxes are similar to rent.  Laws are like the rules of a rental contract.  A proprietor may defend their property with force.   So what is the difference?

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  • What is the origination of property rights? Where do they come from that you can reason their existence as natural? We usually argue for property rights at some point in our discussions as libertarians, but I’m curious as to where we can claim they’re from. Personally, I derive mine from God and my religious beliefs, similar to what Jefferson stated about God given rights. But what about someone who doesn’t believe in a deity? How can they derive property rights in a way that can’t be dismissed as ideals, but derived in nature? This is also (and arguably more so) important for arguing these natural rights to people who won’t accept a divine aspect. It’s important to have property rights, and they’re evidently beneficial, but the argument remains for declaring these as rights, otherwise the NAP is in jeopardy. How do we have a right to property?

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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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