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No account of property law can achieve a comprehensive understanding without factoring in natural rights. Professor Eric Claeys’s new book offers a significant contribution to contemporary property theory by setting out the most comprehensive and defensible theory of natural property rights to appear in a long time. Claeys describes the function of property as productive work. Intentional planning, purposeful effort, and creative ordering enable people to achieve lives of flourishing. And, as Claeys demonstrates in careful detail, the various norms and institutions of property law make possible those exercises of practical reason and the flourishing that results from them. Natural property rights turn out to have both pragmatic utility and ethical value. They enable human beings to flourish both materially and as reasoning, choosing, moral agents.



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