Seleznev I.S. Self-Ownership and Alienity of the World: Ontology of the Institution of Property in Modern Age

DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/lp.jvolsu.2023.3.11

Ilya S. Seleznev
Senior Lecturer, Department of Philosophy, Bioethics and Law, Volgograd State Medical University
Pavshikh Bortsov Sq., 1, 400131 Volgograd, Russian Federation
Senior Lecturer, Department of Philosophy and Theory of Law, Volgograd State University
Prosp. Universitetsky, 100, 400062 Volgograd, Russian Federation
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https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1642-365X


Abstract. The work is devoted to the ontological foundations of the Western institution of property in the Modern Age. Philosophy plays a significant role in the project of the Modern Age to substantiate the natural, rather than religious, origins of property because it can provide rational legitimation for the institution. In this regard, to explicate the ontology of property in the Modern Age, the study turns mainly to two authors in whose texts such a discourse unfolds: John Locke and Karl Marx. John Locke, in his political philosophy, for the first time in the history of Western culture, derives the ownership of things from labor and explains the ownership of labor itself as the unconditional ownership of itself. Self-ownership implies a split into self-ownership and self-property while simultaneously identifying oneself, so the question of the meaning of self-ownership is raised. What ontology is based on this specific idea of the Modern Age about the natural belonging of a person to himself, and how does a man actually realize this belonging? Answers to these questions are given through an analysis of the early works by K. Marx, in which it is possible to explicate the ontology of self-ownership: it is thematized in the distinction between individual existence and the generic essence of man. Marx continues the division of men into themselves and themselves and proceeds from the fact that men as individuals initially belong to men as generic entities (which made possible Marx's statement that in the process of alienated labor, men are alienated from themselves). It is concluded that the ontology of self-ownership is rooted in the ontology of the subject of the Modern Age in general. Since only self-ownership is recognized as unconditional property in modern times, all things in the world appear in this ontology as initially alien and requiring appropriation in order to become one's own.
Key words: property, appropriation, thing, ontology, Modern Age, Locke, Marx.

Citation. Seleznev I.S. Self-Ownership and Alienity of the World: Ontology of the Institution of Property in Modern Age. Logos et Praxis, 2023, vol. 22, no. 3, pp. 97-107. (in Russian). DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/lp.jvolsu.2023.3.11

Self-Ownership and Alienity of the World: Ontology of the Institution of Property in Modern Age by Seleznev I.S. is licensed under Attribution 4.0 International

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