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"Where there is no property," says Locke, "there is can be
no injustice." This he gives as an instance of
a demonstrable proposition. A proposition demonstrable
in the most rigid sense, demonstrable in the sense in which a proposition in the Mathematics is said to be demonstrable. as or demonstrable
as any in Euclid." He seemed to have
a great opinion of it too, as if it were a
fundamental proposition, which might serve as
a basis to chain of propositions all equally demonstrable,
into within which God knows how great a
part of the whole mass of moral truth might
be brought. reduced. Tis rather

Tis rather unfortunate [for him] that he should
[thus to] have stumbled at the threshold. I am
afraid, that if come to Examine it, and I am
afraid that it will by no means answer these expectations
that in the first place, if it were demonstrable,
it would be of no great use; that is, that it
would not serve to bring men to give assent to any

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Be this as it may, the truth of the proposition
rests upon the definition of property, injustice that
it is the violation invasion of property. If this be
true, that is in the sense in which it ought
to be to constitute a definition, then is there
no injustice but what is an invasion of property:
and if any act be an injustice, it
is so for this reason and no other, that it is an invasion of property, that property
is invaded by it.

Now this is what I take not to be true. Beating I beat
a man, on the back for instance. This act of setting aside the particular cases in which
it is to might be justified by some special provision
of the Law, is certainly an act of injustice.
Why? because the man has a property in his
back? no, but because, without having any right
to shew for it upon the supposition, I give
him pain. His Property in a thing ie: an instrument of enjoyment is a right to put that
of enjoyment thing to its use in serving directly or
indirectly to procure for me some pleasure. Invasion

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of property is therefore the subtraction of some or
pleasure. means or instrument of.

proposition to which they would not be just as ready
to give assent without it: in the next place,
that so far from being demonstrable, it is not []
at least without putting a strain upon the common
import of the expression in it, true.

If there or be any person to whom it appears plain
that wherever there is no property, there is
no injustice, it is because that person when
he speaks of injustice means neither more nor
less, than the invasion of property. Understanding
therefore that injustice is the invasion of property
when he comes to understand that "where there is
no property there is no injustice, that is
where there is no property to invade, there
there is no invasion of property, no property
invaded, I see not what new thing it is he understands more
than he did before. As little do I see what
use he could make of this new intelligence,
(supposing it new) after when he has got it.

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When I beat the man (we will suppose I did it
not to in such a manner as to disable him
in any respect, but only to produce present pain)
I did not take his back from him, nor make
it less his back than it was before. What
I did to him was an act totally different from
the taking away or lessening the value of any
instrument of pleasure to him, that is being
the means of depriving him of pleasure, it
was the creating him pain, pain of body
physical pain. What he would have sufferd
what he would have felt painful, had I taken
from him a subject of property an instrument of enjoyment, a
sum of money for instance, would have been
a pain of mind, and nothing more: but what
he has actually suffer'd, what he has felt painful
is somthing quite different, a pain of body: a
pain of a kind which he would not have felt, had
I, instead of doing what I did, to have done what I have just
now supposed. There are two perfectly distinct ways of doing injustice, and which ought not to be confounded.

Identifier: | JB/096/116/001
"JB/" can not be assigned to a declared number type with value 96.


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introd. jurisprudence &c - how far susceptible of demonstration locke





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jeremy bentham


[[watermarks::gr [crown motif] [britannia with shield motif]]]


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