Some Remarks on Hume’s Account of Property Including One Cheer for the Communist Manifesto

  • Charles Landesman
Part of the AMINTAPHIL: The Philosophical Foundations of Law and Justice book series (AMIN, volume 4)


Hume’s theory of property is founded upon an analysis of human nature in the context of permanent economic scarcity in all societies. This paper addresses seven questions to Hume about possessions and the nature and origin of property. Hume’s answers reveal the salient features of his liberal and individualistic theory of society. The paper concludes with a discussion of the creative destruction (Schumpeter’s term) described by Marx and Engels as a basic characteristic of industrial capitalism. It ends by pointing out a basic error in Marx’s account that Hume had no difficulty avoiding.


Human Nature Creative Destruction Market Order Equal Division Spontaneous Order 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht. 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Philosophy, Hunter CollegeGraduate School of the City University of New YorkNew YorkUSA

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