Good Grief

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I generally refrain from commenting on philosophical weaknesses in the writings of lawyers, in the hope that they in turn will remain silent about my tenuous grasp of legal principles, but this is deeply muddled:

But we should not be cynical, we should just be honest. Intellectual property, and investment in it, is a good thing in itself: it increases choice and meet [sic] demands in a way in which nothing else can.

That is, something is good in itself because it tends towards the fulfilment of two other presumed goods external to itself.

The self-contradictory muddling of intrinsic with instrumental goods isn’t the only silly thing. No doubt a bank robber, brandishing a gun at the cashier while demanding that money be handed over, both provides the opportunity for a demand to be met and increases the amount of choice in the world by forcing the cashier to choose between capitulation and refusal. Are choice and the satisfaction of demands eo ipso goods in even such a case, or are they perhaps instrumental means to further ends which may in turn be good? (Perhaps strictly economic demands were meant; but the robber’s demand is for currency, specifically currency which happens to belong to other people, making it hardly non-economic. Economic justifications don’t mix well with intrinsic goods.)

Could an institution of abstract propertisation be a good in itself? I suppose someone must be hoarding all those Flanian Pobble Beads...

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