Title page for ETD etd-07032012-160303

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Morrissey, Michael
Author's Email Address gdoghomes@gmail.com
URN etd-07032012-160303
Title An Alternative to Intellectual Property Theories of Locke and Utilitarian Economics
Degree Master of Arts (M.A.)
Department Philosophy & Religious Studies
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Rocha, James Committee Member
Roland, Jeffrey Committee Member
Song, Edward Committee Member
  • Locke
  • economics
  • utiltiarianism
  • virtue theory
  • intellectual property
Date of Defense 2012-04-02
Availability unrestricted
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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