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This Reply concludes the symposium hosted by the Texas A&M University Journal of Property Law on the author’s forthcoming book Natural Property Rights. The Reply shows how natural law and rights apply to a wide range of doctrinal examples raised in this symposium—including business associations, correlative oil rights, timber extraction, sinking coastlands, water law, nuisance law, property rights in subsurface minerals, and the issues about sovereignty and property disposition associated with Johnson v. M’Intosh (1823). The Reply also addresses a wide range of skeptical objections to natural law—especially the arguments that it relies too much on intuitions and not enough on hard empirical data. The Reply responds to objections to natural rights familiar from law and economic scholarship—and rehearses important but often-neglected reasons why economic analysis of law needs support from moral and political theory. And the Reply responds to criticisms of rights theories typical from Progressive property scholarship—and argues that a Lockean theory of rights is more sober and tougher-minded than Progressive theories are about whether and how much law can secure justice in practice.



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