Philosophers and lawyers are apt to view property law from different perspectives. At the risk of gross overgeneralization, philosophers who discuss property rights tend to focus on the abstract principles that underlie ownership claims, while lawyers are more likely to focus on the practical problems of adjudicating concrete disputes within the constraints of a functioning legal system. Lawyers, for example, are likely to be more sensitive than philosophers to the real-world problems of proof that often accompany legal claims of ownership. For a lawyer, the key question is not whether any given theory of property rights is true in some metaphysical sense, but whether, given the theory of property rights employed by a particular legal system, a litigant within that system can prove an ownership claim to the satisfaction of an officially constituted tribunal.
Social Philosophy & Policy
Available at: https://doi.org/S0265052500004465