Master of Arts (MA)
Philosophy and Religious Studies
In this paper, I examine two standard theories of intellectual property, voice criticisms of each theory from within their own perspectives, and offer an alternative approach to intellectual property. In the first chapter, I explicate Locke’s original property theory and provide a modern account of Lockean intellectual property as an extension of the original theory. I argue this extension is not compatible with Locke’s original thought on property rights. In the second chapter, I dissect the mainstream economic approach to intellectual property, an approach which employs utilitarianism to justify the intellectual property regime of first world, western nations. I argue that this mainstream utilitarian economic approach fails to satisfy the principle of utility. Lastly, I offer a sketch of an alternative theory or perspective on intellectual property based on the notion of human flourishing. I argue that our obligations to develop and use our minds are so extensive that exclusive claim-type intellectual property rights are not possible.
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Morrissey, Michael, "An alternative to intellectual property theories of Locke and utilitarian economics" (2012). LSU Master's Theses. 3332.