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What is property, and why does our species happen to have it? How are the origins of property relevant to governance in the 21st century? Join us for a seminar at the intersection of philosophy and experimental economics by Professor Bart Wilson of Chapman University.

About the Talk:

What is property, and why does our species happen to have it? In this book project, Professor  Bart Wilson explores how Homo sapiens acquires and cognizes the custom of property and why this might be relevant to understanding how property works in the 21st century. He first supports the claim that property is a universal and uniquely human custom, and then argues that humans locate the meaning of property within a thing. Using philosophy of property law and actual property disputes, he also explains a) how his theory generates a testable hypothesis, which he then tests in a laboratory experiment, and b) how the bundle of sticks metaphor inverts how humans cognize property.

 About the Speaker:

Bart J. Wilson is the Donald P. Kennedy Endowed Chair in Economics and Law at Chapman University. He is a founding member of the Economic Science Institute and founding member and Director of the Smith Institute for Political Economy and Philosophy. His research uses experimental economics to explore the foundations of exchange and specialization and the origins of property. Another of his research programs compares decision making in humans, apes, and monkeys. Bart has published papers in the American Economic Review, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, and Nature Human Behaviour. His research has been supported with grants from the National Science Foundation and the Federal Trade Commission. Bart has co-authored with Vernon Smith a forthcoming Cambridge University Press book entitled, Humanomics: Moral Sentiments and the Wealth of Nations for the Twenty-First Century.