Lockean Freedom and the Proviso’s Appeal to Scientific Knowledge

Social Theory and Practice 36 (1):1-20 (2010)
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I argue in this paper that Locke and contemporary Lockeans underestimate the problems involved in their frequent, implicit assumption that when we apply the proviso we use the latest scientific knowledge of natural resources, technology, and the economy’s operations. Problematic for these theories is that much of the pertinent knowledge used is obtained through particular persons’ labor. If the knowledge obtained through individuals’ labor must be made available to everyone and if particular persons’ new knowledge affects the proviso’s proper application, then some end up without freedom to pursue their own ends and some find their freedom subject to others’ arbitrary will.
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