Front Page Titles (by Subject) chapter xiii: The Duties which naturally result from Man's Property in Things - The Whole Duty of Man According to the Law of Nature
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chapter xiii: The Duties which naturally result from Man’s Property in Things - Samuel von Pufendorf, The Whole Duty of Man According to the Law of Nature 
The Whole Duty of Man According to the Law of Nature, trans. Andrew Tooke, ed. Ian Hunter and David Saunders, with Two Discourses and a Commentary by Jean Barbeyrac, trans. David Saunders (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2003).
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The Duties which naturally result from Man’s Property in Things
I.We must conscientiously abstain from invading our Neighbours Property. L. N. N. l. 4. c. 13.Property in Things being established among Men, these Duties naturally arise. * EveryMan is obliged to suffer another, who is not a declared Enemy, quietly to enjoy whatsoever Things are his; and neither by Fraud or Violence to spoil, imbezzel, or convert them to his own Use. Whence it appears, That Theft, Rapine, removing of Boundaries, and the like Crimes, which tend to the Invading and Incroaching upon other Mens Properties, are forbidden.
II.Restitution to be made if we possess what belongs to another. L. N. N. l. 4. c 13. §2.When any Thing, that belongs to another, falls into our Hands, although it be fairly on our Part, that is, without Trick or Fraud of ours; yet if it belongs to another Person, and we have Possession of it, we are obliged to take care, as far as in us lies, to return it to its right Owner. By this is not to be understood, That when we have procur’d any Thing to our selves by fair and honest Means, and enjoy it by a rightful Title, we are to make groundless Doubts and Scruples about the Validity of our Right, and make Proclamation, as it were, That we are in Possession of such a Thing; that, if possibly it should belong to another Person, the Proprietor might come and demand it. It is enough that, if we come to the Knowledge that what we possess is another Person’s, we then give notice to the Proprietor, that it is in our Possession, and that we are ready to deliver it up to the right Owner. And in this Case, we are not bound to restore it, unless we are repay’d the necessary Charges we have been at in procuring, or preserving it; which we may justly demand to be reimbursed, or stop the Thing ’till Satisfaction be made. And the Duty of Restitution of which we are speaking, is so indispensably necessary, that it sets aside all private Ingagements or Contracts to the contrary, and takes away all Right that may seem to arise from any such private Obligations: As for Instance, Should a Thief trust and deposite with me, upon my Promise of Redelivery, somewhat that he has stollen, I being altogether ignorant of the Matter; if after this, the Right Owner appears, the same is to be restor’d to him, and not to the Thief.
III.Restitution Part consum’d. L. N. N. l. 4. c. 13. §6.But if any Thing belonging to another, which yet we came by fairly and honestly, be wasted and consum’d, ’tis our Duty to restore only so much to the Owner as we have made Profit or Advantage to our selves from it. All that lies upon us to do herein, being to refund so much as we have gain’d thereby, that so we may not be the richer by another Man’s undeserved Loss.
IV.Conclusions. First. L. N. N. l. 4. c. 13. §7.From these Premisses, we may deduce the following Conclusions: 1. A Presumptive Owner, (or one who without any Covin45 on his Part, becomes the Possessor of what belongs to another Man) is not obliged to make any Restitution, if the Thing perishes; because neither the Thing it self is in his Power, neither has he receiv’d any Gain or Advantage thereby.
V.Second. L. N. N. l. 4. c. 13. §8.2. Such a Presumptive Owner is obliged to make Restitution, not only of the Thing it self, but also of the Fruits and Profits, which are in being at the Time. For to whomsoever the Thing really belongs, to the same likewise the Profits and Advantages thence arising do accrew. Nevertheless, it is lawful for the Possessor to deduct what Charges he has been at upon the Thing, or upon its Culture and Improvement, by means whereof it has produced those Fruits and Profits.
VI.Third. L. N. N. l. 4 c. 13. §9.3. A Presumptive Owner is obliged to make Restitution of the Thing, and of the Fruits and Profits of it that are consumed, if otherwise he would have consum’d as much of his own, and can recover the Value thereof from him of whom he received Possession. For otherwise he would inrich himself, whilst by spending what belongs to another, he spares his own.
VII.Fourth. L. N. N. l. 4. c 13. §10.4. A Presumptive Owner is not oblig’d to make good the Fruits and Profits which he might have made of the Thing in his Possession, but neglected so to do: Because he has not the Thing it self, nor any Thing in Lieu thereof, and he must be consider’d, to have done by it, as he would have done by that which was truly his own.
VIII.Fifth. L. N. N. l. 4. c. 13. §11.5. If a Presumptive Owner makes a Present or Donation of any Thing belonging to another, which was given to himself, he is not bound to restore it; unless he had been obliged in Duty to have given the like Value. For in such a Case, he would be a Gainer, by saving what he must have given of his own.
IX.Sixth. L. N. N. l. 4. c. 13. §12.6. If a Presumptive Owner makes over what he hath purchased of another Man, upon a valuable Consideration, he is not bound to make Restitution; unless so far as he has made any Advantage by it.
X.Seventh. L. N. N. l. 4. c. 13. §13.7. A Presumptive Owner is obliged to restore that which belongs to another, tho’ he bought it upon a valuable Consideration; nor can he demand of the true Owner the Price he paid for it, but only of him from whom he had it; unless so far as the Charges which the Owner must necessarily have been at, in regaining the Possession of his Right; or that otherwise he did freely promise some Reward for the Recovery.
XI.Things found. L. N. N. l. 4. c. 13. §15.Whosoever happens to find any Thing belonging to another, which, ’tis probable, the right Owner lost against his Will, he cannot take it up with an Intention to detain it from him when he requires it. But if the Owner appear not, he may fairly keep it himself.
[*] See Grotius de Jure Belli & Pacis, Book II. Ch. 10.