Why Some Things Should Not Be for Sale
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Why Some Things Should Not Be for Sale : The Moral Limits of Markets

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What's wrong with markets in everything? Markets today are widely recognized as the most efficient way in general to organize production and distribution in a complex economy. And with the collapse of communism and rise of globalization, it's no surprise that markets and the political theories supporting them have seen a considerable resurgence. For many, markets are an all-purpose remedy for the deadening effects of bureaucracy and state control. But what about those markets we might label noxious-markets in addictive drugs, say, or in sex, weapons, child labor, or human organs? Such markets arouse widespread discomfort and often revulsion. 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. An accessibly written work that will engage not only philosophers but also political scientists, economists, legal scholars, and public policy experts, this book is a significant contribution to ongoing discussions about the place of markets in a democratic society.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 264 pages
  • 162.56 x 236.22 x 27.94mm | 362.87g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0195311590
  • 9780195311594
  • 933,022

Review quote

important and illuminating * Russell Keat, Economics and Philosophy * [This book] is a profound gathering of reflections, carefully structured, and a clear contribution to the debate on commercialization in healthcare. * Paul Schotsmans, Ethical Perspectives *show more

About Debra Satz

Debra Satz Professor of Philosophy, Stanford Universityshow more

Table of contents

Acknowledgments ; Introduction ; Part I ; Chapter One: What Do Markets Do? ; Part II ; Chapter Two: The Changing Visions of Economics ; Chapter Three: The Market's Place and Scope in Contemporary Egalitarian Political Theory ; Chapter Four: Noxious Markets ; Part III ; Chapter Five: Markets in Women's Reproductive Labor ; Chapter Six: Markets in Women's Sexual Labor ; Chapter Seven: Child Labor: A Normative Perspective ; Chapter Eight: Voluntary Slavery and the Limits of the Market ; Chapter Nine: Ethical Issues in The Supply and Demand of Human Kidneys ; Conclusionshow more

Rating details

79 ratings
3.56 out of 5 stars
5 25% (20)
4 24% (19)
3 38% (30)
2 8% (6)
1 5% (4)
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