Historical entitlement and the practice of bequest: Is there a moral right of bequest?

Journal article


Braun, S. Stewart. (2010). Historical entitlement and the practice of bequest: Is there a moral right of bequest? Law and Philosophy. 29(6), pp. 695 - 715. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10982-010-9082-x
AuthorsBraun, S. Stewart
Abstract

Entitlement theorists claim that bequest is a moral right. The aim of this essay is to determine whether entitlement theorists can, on their own grounds, consistently defend that claim. I argue that even if there is a moral right to self-appropriated property and to engage in inter vivos transfers, it is a mistake to contend that there exists an equivalent moral right to make a bequest. Taxing or regulating bequest does not violate an individual’s moral rights because, regardless of whether bequest safeguards certain interests, those interests are not the interests of a living, morally inviolable being. Instead, they are the interests of a deceased entity that has lost the ability to track what it values and pursue projects in accord with those values – a quality that by entitlement theorists’ own arguments renders persons morally significant and deserving of rights in the first place.

Year2010
JournalLaw and Philosophy
Journal citation29 (6), pp. 695 - 715
PublisherSpringer Netherlands
ISSN0167-5249
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1007/s10982-010-9082-x
Scopus EID2-s2.0-77957702378
Page range695 - 715
Research GroupSchool of Philosophy
Place of publicationNetherlands
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