Owned, An Ethological Jurisprudence of Property: From the Cave to the Commons, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Owned, An Ethological Jurisprudence of Property

From the Cave to the Commons, 1st Edition

By Johanna Gibson


390 pages

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Hardback: 9780367356576
pub: 2020-01-28
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This book draws upon domestication science to undertake a radical reappraisal of the jurisprudence of property and intellectual property.

Bringing together animal studies and legal philosophy, it articulates a critique of dominant property models and relationships from the perspective of cognitive ethology, domestication science and animal behaviour. In doing so, a radical new picture of property emerges. Focusing on the emergence of property models through prevailing ideas of human domestication and settlement, the book challenges the anthropocentrism that informs standard approaches to ownership and to authorship. Utilising a wide range of examples from ethology and animal studies, the book thus rethinks the very nature of property as uniquely human.

This highly original contribution to the fields of property and intellectual property will appeal, not only to legal scholars in these areas, as well as in animal law; but also to legal theorists and others working in the social sciences with interests in posthumanism and animal studies.

Table of Contents



Preface: The Hunter and the Farmer and That Dog

Owned, A Dogged Tale of Property

Domestication, the Stone Age

  1. Canis Familiaris, the Invention of Domestication
  2. The Invention of Imitation
  3. Socialisation
  4. Territory, the Space Age

  5. Marking Territory
  6. Resource Guarding
  7. Separation Anxiety
  8. Dominance, the Machine Age

  9. Predatory Drift
  10. Pack Fiction
  11. Wild Abandon
  12. Altruism, the Social Age

  13. Shared Interests
  14. Resocialisation
  15. Res familiaris

Not the end of it

About the Author

Johanna Gibson is Herchel Smith Professor of Intellectual Property at Queen Mary, University of London, where she teaches and researches in intellectual property, creative industries, and animal law and welfare. Gibson is the author of several other Routledge monographs, including, Intellectual Property, Medicine and Health (2017), The Logic of Innovation (2014), Creating Selves (2006), and Community Resource (2005). Along with the humans, she shares her home with four rescue dogs and four rescue cats, all arriving with wildly disjunctive stories.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / General
LAW / Intellectual Property / General
LAW / Jurisprudence
LAW / Property
LAW / Essays
NATURE / Ecology
NATURE / Animal Rights