Re: The origin of personal property

Phillip Bigelow (
Mon, 26 Aug 1996 14:41:57 -0700

> In behavioral experiments, it becomes very clear that chimps have a
> concept of 'ownership.'

So does any "territorial" animal. Crocodilians, many birds,
and many non-primate mammals stake-out a clear territory.
It is doubtful that these animals have any cognitive
"concept of ownership" of the territory, but in the end,
it doesn't matter.
The net effect of staking out territory is to save it and
protect it for one's sole use, whether that use is for food
acquisition, for mating, or for personal protection.
The concept of "personal property" has it's evolutionary
origins quite a ways down the evolutionary tree.
And it appears to have nothing to do with the development of
higher brain function, otherwords the crocodilians wouldn't
practice such territorial behavior.