David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
1.1 Are commercial societies unfriendly to friendship? Many critics of commercial societies, from both the left and the right, have thought so. They claim that the free-market system of property rights, freedom of contract, and other liberty rights – the “negative” right of individuals to peacefully pursue their own ends – is impersonal and dehumanizing, or even inherently divisive and adversarial. Yet (their complaint goes) the psychology and morality of markets and liberty rights pervade far too many relationships in a commercial society, eroding the bonds of personal and civic friendship. My main aim in this paper is to analyze and evaluate this claim. In this section I will give an overview of the critics’ complaints against various features of the free-market system, discuss the empirical data that might be thought to support their complaints, and show why they largely fail to do so. In Section II I will get to the heart of the matter: the nature of the market and of friendship. I will address the thesis that the modes of valuation proper to production are radically opposed to the modes of valuation proper to friendship, love, sexuality, and so on, arguing that the thesis rests on a misunderstanding of both markets and friendship. A proper understanding of the two reveals that, as voluntary, reciprocal relationships, market relationships and friendship share important moral and psychological properties, and are not the natural enemies, or even the odd bed-fellows, many critics take them to be. In Section III I will address the related thesis that market societies – societies based on the free-market system of property rights, freedom of contract, and other liberty rights - tend to commodify relationships and, thereby, weaken the bonds of personal and civic friendship. I will argue that free markets are the most powerful force for decommidifying or, more generally (since commodification is not the only way of objectifying people), deobjectifying people and relationships..
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library||
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Daniel M. Hausman (1989). Are Markets Morally Free Zones? Philosophy and Public Affairs 18 (4):317-333.
Dean Cocking & Jeanette Kennett (2000). Friendship and Moral Danger. Journal of Philosophy 97 (5):278-296.
Alistair MacLeod (2000). Human Dignity, Individual Liberty, And the Free Market Ideal. Social Philosophy Today 16:113-123.
Tony Smith (1995). The Case Against Free Market Environmentalism. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 8 (2):126-144.
Joyce L. Jenkins (1999). The Advantages of Civic Friendship. Journal of Philosophical Research 24:459-471.
Lawrence Quill (2009). After Philia? Friendship, the Market, and Late Modernity. Philosophy in the Contemporary World 16 (2):32-43.
Neera Badhwar (2008). Friendship and Commercial Societies. Politics, Philosophy and Economics 7 (3):301-326.
Joan McGregor (1988). Bargaining Advantages and Coercion in the Market. Philosophy Research Archives 14:23-50.
Added to index2009-03-21
Total downloads57 ( #58,237 of 1,724,878 )
Recent downloads (6 months)16 ( #46,974 of 1,724,878 )
How can I increase my downloads?