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16 October 2003

Intangible property

According to Oliver Goodenough (can that be his real name?) people possess domain-specific capacities in their evolved psychology for tangible property, tied to their emotions. And culture and law have tried to expand the notion of property into other domains - e.g. intellectual property – that probably have much weaker links to the emotions. He therefore argues speculates that intellectual property, although a good idea formally, is might be too new for people to respect. So people who would never normally steal will swap files, even if it's behaviour characterisable as theft.

Noted during Oliver Goodenough's Natural Born Lawyers talk, at The Place of Value in a World of Facts

Also gleaned at The Place of Value in a World of Facts: A recent study by Frans de Waal - reported in Nature - shows that Capuchin monkeys have a sense of fairness

Posted at 05:29 PM in Cultured animals | Permalink


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Foe has this from Oliver Goodenough's talk at 'The place of values in a world of facts' conference/event last Saturday: [Read More]

Tracked on 17 Oct 2003 00:06:23


Thank you for the mention and the clear statement of one of the points I was trying to make. The only clarification I would add is that the idea is offered as a working hypothesis, subject to imperical verification, and not as a firm conclusion. We are doing some of that imperical work now, and hope to follow up with more. And yes, it is my real name.

Posted by: Oliver Goodenough at 5 Nov 2003 14:49:13

Thanks for the clarification, Oliver - on both points :-)

You were clear in your talk that it was a hypothesis, so I'm sorry I wasn't clear about that in my post. I look forward to your follow up.

Posted by: Foe at 6 Nov 2003 10:56:09