Pluralist moral theory in the philosophy of property and the legal form of the condominium
University of British Columbia
Master of Laws - LLM
This thesis outlines three major moral theories in philosophy – utilitarian, deontological, and pluralist or neo-Aristotelean – and examines their application to the law of condominium. The thesis uses a combination of moral analytic theory and a study of legislation and case law. The thesis begins with a discussion of theoretical methods in legal philosophy, adopting and defending an approach based on general pragmatism and legal realism. It then canvasses the application of moral approaches to property law, with an emphasis on explaining and further developing the application of pluralist moral theory to property. The thesis then considers how each of the three schools of philosophy analyzes the structure of condominium and makes predictions about how condominium issues would be resolved by each approach. In particular, this analysis focuses on how condominium presents a challenge to traditional views of property and highlights the connection between property and sovereign power by incorporating concepts of democratic governance. Afterward, the thesis engages a detailed review of statutes and case law that apply to condominium disputes in British Columbia and Ontario. The thesis concludes that courts and legislatures have been alternating between deontological approaches and pluralist approaches to condominium, with a general trend in recent developments away from the deontological approaches and towards pluralist approaches. The thesis tentatively suggests that on the whole, pluralist approaches lead to more just and equitable results in condominium, and suggests further avenues for study.
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