Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics

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Property, Causality, and Liability

The Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics

Tags Legal SystemPhilosophy and MethodologyPrivate Property

07/30/2014Hans-Hermann Hoppe


Volume 7, No. 4 (Winter 2004)


Both the establishment of property rights and their violation spring from actions: acts of appropriation and expropriation. However, in addition to a physical appearance, actions also have an internal, subjective aspect. This aspect cannot be observed by our sense organs. Instead, it must be ascertained by means of understanding (verstehen). The task of the judge cannot—by the nature of things—be reduced to a simple decision rule based on a quasi-mechanical model of causation. Judges must observe the facts and understand the actors and actions involved in order to determine fault and liability.


Contact Hans-Hermann Hoppe

Hans-Hermann Hoppe is an Austrian school economist and libertarian/anarcho-capitalist philosopher. He is the founder and president of The Property and Freedom Society.

Cite This Article

Hoppe, Hans-Hermann. "Property, Causality, and Liability." The Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics 7, No. 4 (Winter 2004): 87–95.