Full text: Semantics of ownership

particular individuals and sets of individuals for 
particular objects is a major political and economic 
concern. Much of the discussion of ownership in philosophy 
and political economy centers on justification of current 
property arrangements. However, such issues are beyond the 
scope of the present study. Also, the matters of joint 
ownership (Hobart, 1975) and of collective ownership (Furby, 
1980), while they can be encompassed by the general 
framework presented earlier, will not be pursued here. 
Psychological Studies 
Ownership has many qualities that should make it a 
topical focus in social psychology. It clearly entails 
rule-governed social behavior, the selective recognition of 
ownable objects and events, and some cognitive processes for 
differentiating owners and non-owners. Further, there 
should be developmental acquisition processes for all of 
these. Nevertheless, while ownership has long been a topic 
of interest in the fields of law, political economy, and 
SNE it has had irregular development as a topic 
within the field of psychology. Perhaps the first major 
effort to establish ownership as a topic of research in 
social psychology was Beaglehole's 1932 book, Property, in 
which he reviewed biological reports of animal 
territoriality, as well as anthropological ethnographies and 
osychological studies of collecting behaviors. Since then,

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