Property and Freedom: A Beauvoirian Critique of Hume's Theory of Justice and a Humean Answer


  • Dylan Meidell Rohr
  • John Christian Laursen

Palabras clave:

David Hume, Simone de Beauvoir, Property, Freedom, Humanity


David Hume and Simone de Beauvoir agree that human beings have a great deal of control over their moral and political lives, which is well captured in Hume's assertion that "mankind is an inventive species". But Hume argues that the most important thing needed to settle our social lives and determine justice is the agreement on rules of property, while Beauvoir thinks that the rules of property will never be enough to establish the best life, but rather that we should be focusing on freedom. In this article we reconstruct Hume's argument for property, then develop a Beauvoirian critique of Hume that brings out the weakness of any theory of property that does not prevent inequalities of property from interfering with freedom. And then we give the last word to a Humean response to Beauvoir that would insist that there can be no freedom but only violence without rules of property, which she ignores. Both thinkers appeal to humanity as an overriding goal, and perhaps that is the way to reconcile the two: we need both property and freedom to achieve our humanity.


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Biografía del autor/a

Dylan Meidell Rohr

Universidad de California, Riverside (Estados Unidos)

John Christian Laursen

Universidad de California, Riverside (Estados Unidos)




Cómo citar

Meidell Rohr, D., & Laursen, J. C. (2024). Property and Freedom: A Beauvoirian Critique of Hume’s Theory of Justice and a Humean Answer. Araucaria, 20(40). Recuperado a partir de



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