Seminar: 4.03.2202 John Locke's theory of property - Details

Seminar: 4.03.2202 John Locke's theory of property - Details

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General information

Course name Seminar: 4.03.2202 John Locke's theory of property
Course number 4.03.2202
Semester WiSe23/24
Current number of participants 28
maximum number of participants 28
Entries on waiting list 2
Home institute Institute of Philosophy
Courses type Seminar in category Teaching
First date Monday, 16.10.2023 12:00 - 14:00, Room: A01 0-010 a
Type/Form Seminar
Lehrsprache deutsch

Rooms and times

A01 0-010 a
Monday: 12:00 - 14:00, weekly (14x)

Module assignments


John Locke's theory of property, outlined in "Two Treatises of Government" (1689), is a cornerstone of modern political thought. It asserts that property rights are acquired through labor and are fundamental natural rights. However, this theory has drawn criticism for bolstering capitalist inequalities, justifying colonialism, perpetuating patriarchal structures, and neglecting environmental consequences.
In this reading course, we'll examine Locke's theory’s ambivalence through in-depth analysis of his work and contemporary critiques. In other words, we will try to both do justice to his novel and deeply influential liberal ideas and examine their sometimes deeply problematic political implications.

The course will be held in English. All texts will be provided digitally. Acquiring the main text is recommended, but optional.

Main text
John Locke: Two Treatises of Government (student edition), edited by Peter Laslett, Cambridge University Press.

Further reading
Armitage, David. "John Locke, Carolina, and the Two Treatises of Government." Political Theory 32, no. 5 (2016): 602-627.
Arneil, Barbara. "Trade, Plantations, and Property: John Locke and the Economic Defense of Colonialism." Journal of the History of Ideas 55, no. 4 (1994): 591-609.
Brennan, Teresa, and Carole Pateman. "‘Mere Auxiliaries to the Commonwealth’: Women and the Origins of Liberalism." Political Studies 27 (1979): 183-200.
Hirschmann, Nancy J. Gender, Class, and Freedom in Modern Political Theory. Princeton, 2008.
Liebell, Susan P. "The Text and Context of 'Enough and as Good': John Locke as the Foundation of an Environmental Liberalism." Polity 43, no. 2 (2011): 210-241.
Macpherson, Crawford B. The Political Theory of Possessive Individualism: Hobbes to Locke. Oxford University Press, 1962.
Mousie, Joshua. "The Environmental Turn in Locke Scholarship." Ethics and the Environment 24, no. 1 (2019): 77-107.
Sreenivasan, Gopal. The Limits of Lockean Rights in Property. Oxford University Press, 1995.

Admission settings

The course is part of admission "Begrenzung Fachwissenschaft (WiSe 2023/24)".
The following rules apply for the admission:
  • Enrolment is allowed for up to 8 courses of the admission set.
  • A defined number of seats will be assigned to these courses.
    The seats will be assigned in order of enrolment.
Assignment of courses: