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The Idea of Property: Its Meaning and Power
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The Idea of Property: Its Meaning and Power

Laura Underkuffler


Legal scholars and philosophers have long been engaged in what has been called ‘the pursuit of the holy grail of property’ — the secret of the internal structure of property in law. Attempts to capture the idea of property have encountered two fundamental problems. First, it has been notoriously difficult to advance beyond the observation that property involves ‘ownership’ of ‘things’, with the incidents of ownership and the list of things owned an essentially descriptive task. Second, it is difficult to explain the wildly inconsistent power that property rights — even when identified — seem t ... More

Keywords: legal scholars, philosophers, property, ownership, public interests, land titles, patent claims, environmental regulation, redistributive taxation

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2003 Print ISBN-13: 9780199254187
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199254187.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Laura Underkuffler, author
Professor of Law, Duke University

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