Det vi eide førfast eiendom. Hugo Grotius og suum (What We Own Before Property: Hugo Grotius and the suum)

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At the basis of modern natural law theories, the concept of the suum, or what belongs to the person (in Latin, his, her, its, their own), has received little scholarly attention despite its importance both in explaining and justifying not only the genealogy of property, but also that of morality and war.1 In this paper I examine Hugo Grotius's what it is, what things it includes, what rights it gives rise to and how it is extended in the transition from the state of nature to civil society. I then briefly point out how bringing this concept back to the fore could help to illuminate the current discussion on the foundations of basic human rights, and to evaluate cases where these seem to clash with property rights.
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