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The AIDs crisis in Africa has given the once-esoteric question of intellectual property rights critical and immediate significance. The issue of pharmaceutical patents is but one dimension of a broad and complicated area at the intersection of law, economics, and ethics. In this monograph, philosopher David Carey supplies an overview of the philosophical and legal foundation of intellectual property rights and argues that a Christian view of those rights is at once appreciative and critical. More specifically, while the Church¹s social teaching upholds the importance of property rights‹including intellectual property rights‹it also places all such rights within the context of obligations toward the common good. In this thought-provoking assessment of the field, Carey pays due attention at once to both economic reality and the demands of justice and charity.

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