In Why Some Things Should Not Be for Sale, philosopher Debra Satz takes a penetrating look at those commodity exchanges that strike most of us as problematic. What considerations, she asks, ought to guide the debates about such markets? What is it about a market involving prostitution or the sale of kidneys that makes it morally objectionable? How is a market in weapons or pollution different than a market in soybeans or automobiles? Are laws and social policies banning the more (...) noxious markets necessarily the best responses to them? Satz contends that categories previously used by philosophers and economists are of limited utility in addressing such questions because they have assumed markets to be homogenous. Accordingly, she offers a broader and more nuanced view of markets--one that goes beyond the usual discussions of efficiency and distributional equality--to show how markets shape our culture, foster or thwart human development, and create and support structures of power. (shrink)
This book shows through argument and numerous policy-related examples how understanding moral philosophy can improve economic analysis, how moral philosophy can benefit from economists' analytical tools, and how economic analysis and moral philosophy together can inform public policy. Part I explores the idea of rationality and its connections to ethics, arguing that when they defend their formal model of rationality, most economists implicitly espouse contestable moral principles. Part II addresses the nature and measurement of welfare, utilitarianism and cost-benefit analysis. Part (...) III discusses freedom, rights, equality, and justice - moral notions that are relevant to evaluating policies, but which have played little if any role in conventional welfare economics. Finally, Part IV explores work in social choice theory and game theory that is relevant to moral decision making. Each chapter includes recommended reading and discussion questions. (shrink)
In this article, Satz critiques "both Pogge's use of the causal contribution principle as well as his attempt to derive all of our obligations to the global poor from the need to refrain from harming others.".
This paper examines the morality of kidney markets through the lens of choice, inequality, and weak agency looking at the case for limiting such markets under both non-ideal and ideal circumstances. Regulating markets can go some way to addressing the problems of inequality and weak agency. The choice issue is different and this paper shows that the choice for some to sell their kidneys can have external effects on those who do not want to do so, constraining the options that (...) are now open to them. I believe that this is the strongest argument against such markets. (shrink)
This paper points to a lost and ignored strand of argument in the writings of liberalism's earliest defenders. These “classical” liberals recognized that market liberty was not always compatible with individual liberty. In particular, they argued that labor markets required intervention and regulation if workers were not to be wholly subjugated to the power of their employers. Functioning capitalist labor markets (along with functioning credit markets) are not “natural” outgrowths of exchange, but achievements hard won in the battle against feudalism. (...) Further, and crucially, the existence of such markets required closing off other market choices. Footnotesa I would like to thank the other contributors to this volume, and its editors, for their helpful comments on an earlier draft of this essay. (shrink)
Green and Shapiro's critique of rational choice theory underestimates the value of unification and the necessity of universalism in science. The central place of intentionality in social life makes both unification and universalism feasible norms in social science. However, ?universalism? in social science may be partial, in that the independence hypothesis?that the causal mechanism governing action is context independent?may hold only locally in certain classes of choice domains.
The late Susan Moller Okin was a leading political theorist whose scholarship tried to integrate political philosophy and issues of gender and the family. This volume stems from a conference on Okin, and contains articles by some of the top feminist and political philosophers working today. Their aim is not to celebrate Okin's work, but to constructively engage with it and further its goals.
This paper considers the normative assessment of bonded labor from the perspectives of libertarianism and Paretian welfare economics. I argue that neither theory can account for our objections to bonded labor arrangements; moreover, they fail in interesting ways. Reflecting on their normative failures focuses us on other considerations besides individual choice and efficiency. Such considerations include: the effects of labor markets on workers' preferences and capacities; the exploitation of the vulnerabilities of the poor; and the permanent binding of one person (...) to another. (shrink)
This paper defends mandatory national service as a response to democratic decay. Because democracy cannot be maintained by laws and incentives alone, citizens must care about the quality and attitudes of their society's members. In an age of increasing segregation and conflict on the basis of class and race, national service can bring citizens from different walks of life together to interact cooperatively on social problems. It offers a form of ‘forced solidarity’. The final sections of the paper consider objections (...) to this proposal. (shrink)
The essays in this volume take off from themes in the work of eminent philosopher and political scientist Joshua Cohen. They center around three central ideas: democracy, confronting injustice, and formulating political principles and values in an interdependent world.
In this anthology of new and classic articles, fifteen noted feminist philosophers explore contemporary ethical issues that uniquely affect the lives of women. These issues in applied ethics include autonomy, responsibility, sexual harassment, women in the military, new technologies for reproduction, surrogate motherhood, pornography, abortion, nonfeminist women and others. Whether generated by old social standards or intensified by recent technology, these dilemmas all pose persistent, 'nagging,' questions that cry out for answers.