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Alexander and Peñalver Publish: An Introduction to Property Theory

Cornell Law School’s Gregory Alexander and Eduardo M. Peñalver are the authors of the new book An Introduction to Property Theory. Released in June by Cambridge University Press, the book examines the leading modern theories of property through lucid descriptions of contemporary controversies.

UPDATE: On October 3, 2012, the Law School hosted a celebration honoring the publication of An Introduction to Property Theory. Featured speakers included Larissa Katz, associate professor at Queen’s University; Shyam Balganesh, assistant professor of law at the University of Pennsylvania; and, Laura Underkuffler, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and J. DuPratt White Professor of Law at Cornell Law School. Here is a video provided by the Cornell Law Library of the event.

“We are hopeful that the book will provide a useful introduction to the many debates over the nature and philosophical foundations of property,” says Peñalver, Professor of Law. “At the same time, we wanted to provide an overview of recent property scholarship, identifying the most active debates as well as the areas of consensus.” Adds Alexander, A. Robert Noll Professor of Law, “The book’s secondary purpose is to provide a brief account of our own theory of property, which is based on the value of human flourishing.”

Through the lenses of such issues as redistribution, the right to exclude, regulatory takings, eminent domain, and intellectual property, An Introduction surveys the Lockean, libertarian, utilitarian/law-and-economics, personhood, Kantian, and human flourishing frameworks of property law theory. In particular it highlights the Aristotelian human flourishing theory, providing the most comprehensive introduction to date.

Though the authors have aimed to make property theory accessible to beginners, says Peñalver, the book will also be interesting “to specialists immersed in the debates we are describing and engaging.”

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