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The Lockean theory of property licenses unilateral appropriation on the condition that there be ‘enough, and as good left in common for others’. However, the meaning of this proviso is all but clear. This article argues that the proviso is centered around the Lockean theory of freedom. To be free, I argue, we must be ‘non-subjected’ in the exercise of our rights, including our rights to appropriate. We enjoy such freedom only when the ability to exercise our rights does not depend on others. That can obtain if literally enough and as good is left in common. But it can also obtain in other ways, for example through competitive labour markets. The latter offer something as good as ‘enough and as good’.


This is a pre-copy-editing, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Philosophical Quarterly, volume 71, issue 1, in 2021 following peer review. The definitive publisher-authenticated version is available online at

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Oxford University Press



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