Stefan Gosepath, Is Inheritance Justified?

Events on Campus

This essay is concerned with the question of whether it is just that people inherit property. What should happen to private property after the death of the person owning it? Should the owner, while alive, be entitled to transfer their property holdings for the time after their death, to a person of their choosing? Is such a right to pass one’s property on posthumously a part of the right to private property?

The intuition I want to begin to explore states that the common social practice of inheritance (embodied in law and institutions) is in fact pro tanto unjust, since it confers an unjust advantage on the beneficiary. The first step, as undertaken in this essay, will be to ask, very abstractly for now, whether bestowing or receiving an inheritance or a bequest is just. This part of the inquiry, then, is situated within the realm of abstract and ideal political philosophy or theory.

Stefan Gosepath
Professor of Practical Philosophy at the Free University Berlin (Germany)
Co-Director, Centre for Advanced Studies “Justitia Amplificata: Rethinking Justice: Applied and Global”

Waheed Hussain
Assistant Professor of Philosophy, University of Toronto

hosted by
University of Toronto Department of Political Science

co-sponsored by
Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto

Fri, Apr 13, 2018
02:30 PM - 04:30 PM
Room 3130, Sidney Smith Building
100 St. George St.