Podcast: The Philosophy of Property Ownership

For our fourth podcast, we asked Robert Rowland Smith to join us in Amsterdam for our annual UNStudio Summer Conference, held in Mediamatic. Robert is a British author and philosopher, whose books include Derrida and Autobiography, Breakfast with Socrates: The philosophy of everyday life, and AutoBioPhilosophy: An intimate story of what it means to be human.

For our summer conference on the theme of Ownership, Robert stepped away from architecture and design, and studied the theme from a philosophical perspective… Throughout his talk he asks two big questions. First: What would remain of our identity once everything we own is taken away from us? And second: Could ownership be seen as a radical form of openness and hospitality? He looks at the history of ownership and its roots in medieval Europe, the concept of ownership as related to self-identity, Marx, Freud, Derrida and Heidegger, and ownership in the modern world, in the context of Big Data.