The series begins with Critical Reflections on Ownership written by Mary Warnock.
In this thought provoking work, Mary Warnock explores what it is to own things, and the differences in our attitude to what we own and what we do not.
Starting from the philosophical standpoints of Locke and Hume, the ownership of gardens is presented as a prime example, exploring both private and common ownership, historically and autobiographically. Concluding that, besides pleasure and pride, ownership brings a sense of responsibility for what is owned, a fundamental question is brought to light. Can we feel the same responsibility for what we do not, and never can, own? Applying this question to the natural world and the planet as a whole, a realistic and gradualist perspective is offered on confronting global environmental degradation. Critical Reflections on Ownership examines the effect of the Romantic Movement on our attitudes to nature and is a salient commentary on the history of ideas.
‘Mary Warnock’s Critical Reflections on Ownership is a sustained meditation on the significance that ownership has for us from one of our finest philosophical voices. First exploring the responsibility and love we have for things that are owned, she goes on to provide a penetrating investigation of the relationship we have to those things which we do not, indeed cannot, own, in particular the natural world. Critical Reflections on Ownership is required reading for anyone who wants to think deeply, and clearly, about the prospect of a global environmental cataclysm and what we might do to address it.’
J E Penner, author of The Idea of Property in Law