Free Exchange for Mutual Benefit: Sweatshops and Maitland's “Classical Liberal Standard” [Book Review]

Journal of Business Ethics 112 (1):127-135 (2013)
Ian Maitland defends sweatshop labor on the grounds that “A wage or labor practice is ethically acceptable if it is freely chosen by informed workers” (he calls his view “the Classical Liberal Standard,” CLS). I present several examples of economic exchanges that are mutually beneficial and satisfy the requirements of the CLS, but, nonetheless, are morally wrong. Maitland’s arguments in defense of sweatshops are unsuccessful because they depend on the flawed “CLS.” My paper criticizes Maitland’s arguments in defense of sweatshops, but I do not claim that his conclusions are false—I do not claim to have shown that the labor practices Maitland defends are morally wrong. I argue that some of the disagreements about sweatshops between Maitland and his critics depend on disagreements about the answers controversial questions in ethical theory. In the absence of definitive answers to those questions , there are no decisive arguments for or against Maitland’s view about sweatshops.
Keywords Sweatshops  Maitland, Ian
Categories (categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 14,275
External links
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
Richard Brandt (2001). 1 Q Relativism Refuted? In Paul K. Moser & Thomas L. Carson (eds.), Moral Relativism: A Reader. Oxford University Press 277.
Richard B. Brandt (1959). Ethical Theory. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.,Prentice-Hall.
Thomas Carson (1993). Friedman's Theory of Corporate Social Responsibility. Business and Professional Ethics Journal 12 (1):3-32.
Thomas L. Carson (1989). Could Ideal Observers Disagree?: A Reply to Taliaferro. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 50 (1):115-124.

View all 16 references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Similar books and articles
Matt Zwolinski (2007). Sweatshops, Choice, and Exploitation. Business Ethics Quarterly 17 (4):689-727.
Matt Zwolinski (2012). Structural Exploitation. Social Philosophy and Policy 29 (1):154-179.
Bill Shaw (1998). Community. Business Ethics Quarterly 8 (4):671-678.
Norman E. Bowie (2003). Sweatshops and Respect for Persons. Business Ethics Quarterly 13 (2):221-242.
Gary Chartier (2008). Sweatshops, Labor Rights, and Comparative Advantage. Oregon Review of International Law 10 (1):149--188.
Ian Maitland (1994). The Morality of the Corporation. Business Ethics Quarterly 4 (4):445-458.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

47 ( #55,450 of 1,700,409 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

3 ( #206,271 of 1,700,409 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.