Moving on... (He said she said doesn't help anything and I want to keep this on topic. Post in that other thread if you find it necessary.)
I'm using this thought experiment to ask specific questions I've been thinking about. As I suggested earlier, but this time directed at anyone reading: At which point do you agree or disagree? Do you disagree on how I described property? Do you disagree about the *reason* I said Theseus would still own the same ship? How does my thought experiment change when you take away the immediately concrete re-building and use a *duplication* instead? Answer any or all of these questions.
First off, I don't think that self-ownership should be part of the story in explaining property (I also don't think one owns the information in their head). It's more sensible to talk about how property is a right to action of one's body in the first place. If you own your body, then what are you anyway? What would then own *that*? There is an infinite regression that can only be done with integration of mind and body where there is no outside agent that owns either. Homunculism is false, in other words. Since I reject self-ownership as a valid concept, the only story of property that I can tell is about the abstract nature of what I may use according to own will. My relationship to reality is only by means of abstraction as related to perception, lest we live like bears and own a cave by sitting inside. For *sustaining* flourishing, actual goods relating to abstractions are necessary, like a particular house. Whether I own myself does not enter into the equation, nor do the particles/tangibility of something become fundamental characteristics. But at the same time, all that can sustain my flourishing is action in the world. A problem comes in at this point, since I'm only implying that one needs to use the what they produce. But what, in fact, qualifies as being a produced? To stick to the dispute at hand, does a blueprint/patent for a piano qualify as produced in the same sense as you produce a house out of trees that you cut down? If a blueprint/patent is not produced in that same sense, then IP is invalid.
Again, the particles are not what fundamentally make anything unique and having identity. For the standard ship of Theseus question answered in an Aristotelian way, what counts even more are types of causation, or to use Objectivist terms, the measurements retained after abstraction (let's say at least the important features). Replacing each piece one by one won't result in not-Theseus' ship. But in my modified case, does Franz rebuilding his piano out of the same pieces, does Franz end up with a new piano? Or is it the same piano?
Nicky, thanks for emphasizing that property rights are rights to actions. I didn't say that explicitly, but I should have. I don't know, though, who you meant by "you" when you said "you are trying to deduce a more abstract question of property rights from a more concrete application of rights (the ownership of materials)." What I set out to do first was to talk about how sticking to concrete applications of rights only, like that invalid inference, is doomed to fail for justification of property in the first place. Franz rebuilding was intended to talk about property in general, then Wolfgang rebuilding intended to transition from the agreeable case to the core disagreements on IP. I might not have succeeded in conveying that.
Good point, I overlooked this. Same deal about the next phrasing you disagreed with.
I don't quite understand what you mean. How would you propose figuring out if IP really does follow from principles of property rights? My thought experiment is meant to be useful in the sense that if one has a strong case for IP, then figuring what Franz may or may not do about Franz should be easy. Since "it's just obvious" is not acceptable, the questions I started out with in this post are also important. The point isn't to deduce an answer from a single case, but to make it easier to think about philosophical questions.
Regarding "we need to have a reasonable constraint to its range of application. This way, claims to property can be objectively evaluated. A range of application isn’t as simple as saying a physical boundary. That may apply to a basketball, but not an open cattle range - there is no intrinsic boundary to land. Some degree of value is needed as well, otherwise there would be no need to recognize any existents in a special way with regard to individuals.":
As for "some degree of value", I just wanted to convey that property is worth something to someone, in a realizable way. Look at Alpha Centauri as many times you want, but you can't claim it as yours for looking at it first. You can value Alpha Centauri as a nice star to look at, but nothing about the star itself can be traded, harvested, invested, built up, etc. There isn't even a way to get there, any more than there is a way to attain any value out of a time machine, or warp drives. After writing this, I see how "degree of value" isn't useful as a term here. I don't know a better term right now, but this explains what I'm referring to.