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This Article seizes on a specific doctrinal discussion in Eric Claeys’s Natural Property Rights to argue for the importance of understanding property doctrines in the context of a system of interconnecting rules and standards and not in isolation. The ad coelum doctrine provides that land ownership entails ownership of the suprajacent airspace as well as the underlying subsurface. As Claeys’s discussion highlights, scholars disagree about the significance of ad coelum both conceptually, as to what function the rule serves in defining and allocating property, and normatively. It is only by viewing ad coelum in the context of how it interacts with various other doctrines—as a cog in a complex machine that serves larger purposes— that a comprehensive conceptual and normative account of the doctrine emerges. Natural Property Rights presents such an account of ad coelum and many other doctrines by attending to both the details of property law’s rules and the body of property law as a system with a larger purpose. In this way, Claeys’s Natural Property Rights is praiseworthy for its approach.

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Texas A&M Journal of Property Law





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