In The Property Species: Mine, Yours, and the Human Mind, Professor Bart Wilson explores why humans have the custom of property and how they think about it. He contends that the origin of property lies in abstract thought, and thus the custom is unique to humans. Analyzing cognitive linguistics, philosophy, economics, and law, Wilson makes the controversial case that the tradition of property, rather than property rights, is a fundamental principle of economics.

Join CEI for a lively online discussion with The Property Species author Bart Wilson, in conversation with Kent Lassman.  

Bart J. Wilson, Author and Professor of Economics and Law, Chapman University

Kent Lassman, President, Competitive Enterprise Institute

Thursday, February 11, 2021

12:00 – 1:00 pm EST


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Dr. Bart Wilson is Professor of Economics and Law and the Donald P. Kennedy Endowed Chair in Economics and Law at Chapman University. He is a member of the Economic Science Institute and tenured in the Argyros School of Business and Economics and the Fowler School of Law. In Fall 2016, he co-founded with Jan Osborn, Vernon Smith, and Keith Hankins the Smith Institute for Political Economy and Philosophy, for which he serves as the director.

His research uses experimental economics to explore the origins of property and the human propensity to truck, barter, and exchange. He also studies how Adam Smith’s ideas can inform the modern study of economics and our interpretation of economic experiments. Another of his research programs compares social decision making in humans, apes, and monkeys. He is the author of The Property Species: Mine, Yours, and the Human Mind, published by Oxford University Press, and co-author of Humanomics: Moral Sentiments and the Wealth of Nations for the Twenty-First Century, published by Cambridge University Press.

Kent Lassman is President and CEO of the Competitive Enterprise Institute. He oversees strategy for the organization, including management of a team of policy, communications, and fundraising staff. Prior to joining CEI, Lassman spent eight years as vice president at a public affairs firm in Washington, D.C., counseling clients on campaign approaches to issues ranging from telecommunications to privacy to biotechnology and state licensing.

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