PROPERTY, EXTRINSIC AND INTRINSIC
When speaking of "property" as a moral or
extrinsic property rights must
be distinguished from
Also with respect to property, every normative system of
disciplinary thought has to look
at people and their relationships with other people or things both from a
doctrinal and from a
The basics of extrinsic property have already been discussed in
Property as a right to personhood in the last division of the Book
There it has been pointed out that extrinsic property is an active,
discretionary right, that everyone owns
'er own body and the things which
are made by
'im (at least initially and under
the relevant description), and that everyone has an initial, equal share
too in all things which are not person-made.
This latter property right may involve an extrinsic right to an income,
dependent on the fact whether natural resources are privately used and/or
exploited by other people, or on the fact whether they are collectively
used and/or exploited by the state or community.
The right to personhood in itself does
not guarantee such an income, let alone one which is sufficient for a
However, everywhere where natural resources are indeed used and/or
exploited by others, a person has the extrinsic right to compensation where
such use or exploitation involves 'er personal share in these natural
Book of Instruments it has also been made
clear already that the constellation of extrinsic property rights and
duties has still to be fleshed up with substantive normative contents as
provided by a first-order
The liberty of choosing may be prerequisite for being a moral agent, and
the actual possession of extrinsic property for being recognized as a
moral agent, to be moral in an intrinsic sense one has to comply
with doctrinal principles.
neutral-inclusivistic model this means that
one shall opt for equality or solidarity, for everyone's well-being and for
Thus, metadoctrinally speaking, one has the right to exclude everyone from
one's extrinsic property as one likes, but doctrinally speaking, one does
not have this right if doing so would be inequitable, harsh or
In such a case a person's intrinsic property is smaller than 'er extrinsic
property for the one, and bigger for the other.
As regards external things each person starts life with extrinsic property
of the same value, apart from variations
thru time which
In the intitial stage it is only
people's personal, physical conditions which can differ considerably.
From the metadoctrinal point of view those who are
strong and healthy can say to the weak and sick that they have
bad luck. (Those for whom freedom is the sole or highest value
do say that.) All persons own the body they have, but these
bodies are not all equally strong and healthy. It is from the doctrinal
perspective of the DNI that we realize that the
strong should help the weak and the healthy the sick, where this is
beneficial to people's and children's overall well-being, or
where solidarity demands it. This, at least, holds with respect
to people or children who are not to blame for their weakness or
illness. If they are to blame themselves for it, they have had
pleasures or advantages which the others have not had, or they
have not fulfilled their own duties towards their bodies either.
In such a case the strong and healthy who did not have those
pleasures or advantages, or who themselves did fulfil their
duties towards their bodies, may not be obliged to help them.
People who had pleasures in the past, but who suffer now
because of those pleasures may on the whole not be worse off
than people who did not have those pleasures, and who do not
suffer now. By arguing that the latter people need, then, not be
obliged to help the former, we use a temporal principle of
equality, that is, we do not so much look at interpersonal
equality at this moment but at interpersonal equality thru time.
Evidently this does not preclude anyone from helping another
person, even if 'er present misery is 'er own fault or is due to
a risk 'e chose to take 'imself.
Helping 'im nevertheless will be beneficent and will be conducive to
equality at the present moment. All these considerations can play a role,
because the DNI is past-, present- and future-regarding.
Not only are
the Ananorm's doctrinal principles temporal, also
the Ananorm's metadoctrinal principle is.
The difference is
tho, that the
right to personhood can give rise to gross inequalitites while those
inequalities are not even prima facie bad in themselves.
On the metadoctrinal principle solely initial equality is required.
But on the doctrinal principle of
interpersonal equality inequalitites are
bad in themselves unless they can be justified on a temporal reckoning.
Extrinsic inequalities may start with differences in people's physical
conditions, but they will be found particularly in the added value of
From a metadoctrinal perspective every person has the exclusive (extrinsic)
right to the whole value 'e has added to a thing (but not to the thing
itself, that is, independent of its description).
Hence, a person who is very talented has a much greater chance of acquiring
more extrinsic property, even tho 'e does, perhaps, not work harder than
But 'e does not have the same intrinsic right to the total value 'e has
added to a thing; 'e only has such an intrinsic right to the extent that it
benefits the whole (the community, society or all sentient beings).
From the point of view of equality alone 'e should not have an intrinsic
right to more than the average added value. In other words, 'er personal,
intrinsic property is smaller than 'er extrinsic property, and
on the DNI it is intrinsic property which counts. Yet, a person
may also have acquired more extrinsic property, not because of
'er natural cleverness or skilfulness, but because 'e has worked
harder than others. In such a case 'e will also have the
intrinsic right to more property on the basis of temporal
considerations of interpersonal equality, and on the basis of
balancing that person's right to more property against 'er loss
of free time.
So far as the right to personhood is concerned a person may allow or
disallow someone else to use 'er extrinsic property as 'e likes; 'e may
also give it away or bequeath it to whomever 'e likes.
So far as the
norms of neutrality and
inclusivity are concerned, however, a person
should not in allowing or disallowing the use of 'er extrinsic property
discriminate between people on the basis of an irrelevant factor.
And when giving away or bequeathing 'er extrinsic property to individuals
a person should give and bequeath to poor people and children; other things
being equal, that is.
In this respect the more than average extrinsic property of the rich is the
intrinsic property of the poor.