It is commonly thought that exploitation is unjust; some think it is part of the very meaning of the word 'exploitation' that it is unjust. Those who think this will suppose that the just society has to be one in which people do not exploit one another, at least on a large scale. I will argue that exploitation is not unjust by definition, and that a society (such as Our own) might be fundamentally just while nevertheless being (...) pervasively exploitative. I do think that exploitation is nearly always a bad thing, and will try to identify the moral belief which makes most of us think it is. But I will argue that its badness does not always consist in its being unjust. (shrink)
The discussion of the adequacy of Karl Marx''s definition of exploitation has paid insufficient attention to a prior question: what is a definition? Once we understand Marx as offering a reference-fixing definition in a model we will realise that it is resistant to certain objections. A more general analysis of exploitation is offered here and it is suggested that Marx''s own definition is a particular instance of the general analysis which makes a number of controversial moral assumptions.
It is commonly claimed that workers in sweatshops are wrongfully exploited by their employers. The economist's standard response to this claim is to point out that sweatshops provide their workers with tremendous benefits, more than most workers elsewhere in the economy receive and more than most of those who complain about sweatshop exploitation provide. Perhaps, though, the wrongfulness of sweatshop exploitation is to be found not in the discrete interaction between a sweatshop and its employees, but in the (...) unjust political and economic institutions against which that interaction takes place. This paper tries to assess what role, if any, consideration of background injustice should play in the correct understanding of exploitation. Its answer, in brief, is that it should play fairly little. Structural injustice matters, of course, but it does not typically matter for determining whether a sweatshop is acting exploitatively, and it does not typically matter in a way that grounds any kind of special moral responsibility or fault on the part of sweatshops or the Multinational Enterprises with which they contract. (shrink)
The notion that exploitation consists in taking wrongful advantage of anotherâs vulnerability is widespread in the philosophical literature. Considering the popularity of this view, it is disappointing to find that very few authors attempt to provide substantive accounts of characteristics they consider relevant vulnerabilities (i.e., those pertinent to exploitation), as well as of relevant features which make taking advantage of those vulnerabilities wrongful. In this paper, I analyze the few approaches (notably those presented by Ruth Sample and Robert (...) Goodin) that in fact provide such accounts, and I examine whether and how they pertain to exploitation in general, as well as to exploitation in more personal/intimate relationships. I conclude that these vulnerability-based accounts of exploitation are either too vague or too restrictive, since they tend to leave out many instances of exploitation (especially those within personal and intimate relationships), and are as such inadequate. (shrink)
Marx''s account of capitalist exploitation is undermined by inter-related confusions surrounding the notion of labour power. These confusions relate to [i] what labour power is, [ii] what happens to labour power in the labour market, and [iii] what the epistemic status of labour power is (the issue of appearance and reality). The central theses of the paper are [a] that property ownership is the wrong model for understanding the exploitation of labour, and [b] that the concept of (...) class='Hi'>exploitation is linked more fruitfully to a conception of distributive injustice than to Marx''s theory of surplus value. (shrink)
Philosophical inquiry into exploitation has two major deficiencies to date: it assumes that exploitation is wrong by definition; and it pays too much attention to the Marxian account of exploitation. Two senses of exploitation should be distinguished: the 'moral' or pejorative sense and the 'non-moral' or 'non-prejudicial' sense. By demonstrating the conceptual inadequacy of exploitation as defined in the first sense, and by defining exploitation adequately in the latter sense, we seek to demonstrate the (...) moral complexity of exploitation. We contend, moreover, that moral evaluation of exploitation is only possible once we abandon a strictly Marxian framework and attempt, in the long run, to develop an integral ethic along Godwinian lines. (shrink)
In 2004 Emanuel et al. published an influential account of exploitation in international research, which has become known as the 'fair benefits account'. In this paper I argue that the thin definition of fairness presented by Emanuel et al, and subsequently endorsed by Gbadegesin and Wendler, does not provide a notion of fairness that is adequately robust to support a fair benefits account of exploitation. The authors present a procedural notion of fairness – the fair distribution of the (...) benefits of research is to be determined on a case-by-case basis by the parties involved in each study. The fairness of the distribution of benefits is not assessed against an independent normative standard. Emanuel et al.'s account of fairness provides a framework for objecting only to transactions that occur without the fully informed consent of the weaker party. As a result, a debate about exploitation collapses into a debate about consent. This is problematic because, as the proponents of the fair benefits framework acknowledge, neither the trial participants' consent nor the host community's consent preclude exploitation. Attempts to stipulate normative standards of fairness to protect research subjects in developing countries have been controversial and divisive, and it is therefore understandable that bioethicists would be tempted to develop accounts of exploitation that are independent of such prescriptive principles. I conclude, however, that the utility of the fair benefits model of exploitation as a policy tool will ultimately depend on whether a substantive principle of fairness can be developed to underpin it. (shrink)
Offering cash payments to research subjects is a common recruiting method but there is significant debate about whether and in what amount such payments are appropriate. This paper is concerned with exploitation and whether there should be a lower limit on the amount researchers can pay their subjects. When subjects participate in research as a way to make money, fairness requires that researchers pay them a fair wage. This call for the establishment of a lower limit meets resistance in (...) two places: (1) denial that the payments offered by researchers are wages for participation; and (2) concern about undue inducement. This paper critically examines these arguments for and against a lower limit. It shows that the need for a lower limit cannot be avoided by adopting a non-wage payment model and that concerns about undue inducement are unjustified in all trials except those that present greater than minimal risk. This analysis suggests the following compromise position: there should be an unconditional lower limit on payment amounts so that researchers cannot offer less than a fair wage, and when researchers cannot satisfy this limit because fairness requires a problematically large payment, then researchers should offer no payment at all. (shrink)
Human subject trials of pharmaceuticals in low and middle income countries (LMICs) have been associated with the moral wrong of exploitation on two grounds. First, these trials may include a placebo control arm even when proven treatments for a condition are in use in other (usually wealthier) parts of the world. Second, the trial researchers or sponsors may fail to make a successful treatment developed through the trial available to either the trial participants or the host community following the (...) trial.Many commentators have argued that a single form of exploitation takes place during human subject research in LMICs. These commentators do not, however, agree as to what kind of moral wrong exploitation is or when exploitation is morally impermissible. In this paper, I have two primary goals. First, I will argue for a taxonomy of exploitation that identifies three distinct forms of exploitation. While each of these forms of exploitation has its critics, I will argue that they can each be developed into plausible accounts of exploitation tied to different vulnerabilities and different forms of wrongdoing. Second, I will argue that each of these forms of exploitation can coexist in single situations, including human subject trials of pharmaceuticals. This lesson is important, since different forms of exploitation in a single relationship can influence, among other things, whether the relationship is morally permissible. (shrink)
James Stacy Taylor advances a thorough argument for the legalization of markets in current (live) human kidneys. The market is seemly the most abhorrent type of market, a market where the least well-off sell part of their body to the most well off. Though rigorously defended overall, his arguments concerning exploitation are thin. I examine a number of prominent bioethicists’ account of exploitation: most importantly, Ruth Sample’s exploitation as degradation. I do so in the context of Taylor’s (...) argument, with the aim of buttressing Taylor’s position that a regulated kidney market is morally allowable. I argue that Sample fails to provide normative grounds consistent with her claim that exploitation is wrong. I then reformulate her account for consistency and plausibility. Still, this seemingly more plausible view does not show that Taylor’s regulated kidney market is prohibitively exploitative of impoverished persons. I tack into place one more piece of support for Taylor’s conclusion. (shrink)
Commodity chain analysis (Bair and Ramsay, 2003 Multinational Companies and Global Human Resource Strategies) is used to explore where economic pressure (from consumers) or socio-political pressure (from governments and NGOs) can be applied to reduce worker exploitation. Six paths are illustrated with examples of successful and unsuccessful application of pressure. Three conclusions are reached :Economic pressure on companies and brand owners is more likely to lead to improved workplace conditions than socio-political pressure; Brand owners are more likely to implement (...) improved workplace conditions than retailers; and Retailers who are under extreme consumer price pressure will resist improving workplace conditions. (shrink)
Guidelines for health research focus on protecting individual research subjects. It is also vital to protect the communities involved in health research. In particular, a number of studies have been criticized on the grounds that they exploited host communities. The present paper attempts to address these concerns by providing an analysis of community exploitation and, based on this analysis, determining what safeguards are needed to protect communities in health research against exploitation. (edited).
When discussing exploitation, we often say things like this, “sweatshop laborers have terrible working conditions and are paid almost nothing, but they are better off with that labor than with no labor.” Similarly, in describing the Non-Identity Problem, Derek Parfit points out: we cannot say that the individuals born in future generations are worse off because of our destructive environmental policies because the particular people living in those future generations wouldn’t even exist if it were not for these destructive (...) policies. How can we explain these cases, exploitation and environmental destruction, as ones of wrongdoing when the victims in both cases are no worse off than they would have otherwise been? This paper investigates the link between these two moral puzzles and ultimately uses one to solve the other: an exploitation solution to the Non-Identity Problem. (shrink)
It has been suggested that community advisory boards (CABs) can play a role in minimising exploitation in international research. To get a better idea of what this requires and whether it might be achievable, the paper first describes core elements that we suggest must be in place for a CAB to reduce the potential for exploitation. The paper then examines a CAB established by the Shoklo Malaria Research Unit under conditions common in resource-poor settings – namely, where individuals (...) join with a very limited understanding of disease and medical research and where an existing organisational structure is not relied upon to serve as the CAB. Using the Tak Province Border Community Ethics Advisory Board (T-CAB) as a case study, we assess the extent to which it might be able to take on a role minimising exploitation were it to decide to do so. We investigate whether, after two years in operation, T-CAB is capable of assessing clinical trials for exploitative features and addressing those found to have them. The findings show that, although T-CAB members have gained knowledge and developed capacities that are foundational for one-day taking on a role to reduce exploitation, their ability to critically evaluate studies for the presence of exploitative elements has not yet been strongly demonstrated. In light of this example, we argue that CABs may not be able to perform such a role for a number of years after initial formation, making it an unsuitable responsibility for many short-term CABs. (shrink)
The socio-ethical concerns regarding exploitation in commercial surrogacy are premised on asymmetric vulnerability and the commercialization of women’s reproductive capacity to suit individualistic motives. In examining the exploitation argument, this article reviews the social contract theory that describes an individual as an ‘economic man’ with moral and/or political motivations to satisfy individual desires. This study considers the critique by feminists, who argue that patriarchal and medical control prevails in the surrogacy contracts. It also explores the exploitative dynamics amongst (...) actors in the light of Baier’s conceptualization of trust and human relationship, within which both justice and exploitation thrive, and Foucault’s concept of bio-power. Drawing on these concepts, this paper aims to investigate the manifestations of exploitation in commercial surrogacy in the context of trust, power and experiences of actors, using a case study of one clinic in India. The actors’ experiences are evaluated at different stages of the surrogacy process: recruitment, medical procedures, living in the surrogate home, bonding with the child and amongst actors, financial dealings, relinquishment and post-relinquishment. (shrink)
In 1987, apprehension that “unreasonable mistakes of fact” might negative mens rea in sexual assault cases led the Canadian Parliament to enact “reasonable steps” requirements for mistakes of fact with respect to the age of complainants. The role and operation of the “reasonable steps” provisions in ss. 150.1(4) and (5) and, to a lesser extent, s. 273.2 of the Criminal Code, must be reassessed. Mistakes of fact are now largely addressed at common law by jurisprudence that has re-invigorated judicial awareness (...) of the evidentiary requirements for the availability of defences at common law and explicitly defines “honest belief” as a belief that is neither reckless nor willfully blind. As a consequence of these common law developments, the defence of mistake of fact with respect to age is rarely available as a matter of law. Properly used, these common law analytic tools afford minors and under-age sex-workers better legal protection from sexual exploitation than has often been achieved in practice over the last 25 years with the “reasonable steps” requirement under ss. 150.1(4) and (5). -/- Socio-economic inequalities ensure that aboriginal children and youth are disproportionately affected by the non-enforcement, under-enforcement, and selective enforcement of laws enacted to protect minors against sexual assault and participation in sex work. Continued reliance by prosecutors and judges on out-moded jurisprudence in the screening, prosecution, and disposition of these cases in the criminal justice system reinforces existing patterns of inequality and disadvantage and violates basic principles of human rights. (shrink)
This paper argues that a sweatshop worker's choice to accept the conditions of his or her employment is morally significant, both as an exercise of autonomy and as an expression of preference. This fact establishes a moral claim against interference in the conditions of sweatshop labor by third parties such as governments or consumer boycott groups. It should also lead us to doubt those who call for MNEs to voluntarily improve working conditions, at least when their arguments are based on (...) the claim that workers have a moral right to such improvement. These conclusions are defended against three objections: 1) that sweatshop workers' consent to the conditions of their labor is not fully voluntary, 2) that sweatshops' offer of additional labor options is part of an overall package that actually harms workers, 3) that even if sweatshop labor benefits workers, it is nevertheless wrongfully exploitative. (shrink)
Trusting in someone's cooperation is often connected with the danger of being exploited. So it is important that signals are exchanged which make it probable enough that the potential partner is reliable. Such signals must be too expensive for partners who are planning to abuse the trust they are given but cheap enough for those who wish to initiate a long-term cooperation. In a game theoretical model, it is shown that such signals could consist of presents given before the partnership (...) starts. (edited). (shrink)
In this review, I survey theoretical accounts of exploitation in business, chiefly through the example of low wage or sweatshop labor. This labor is associated with wages that fall below a living wage standard and include long working hours. Labor of this kind is often described as self-evidently exploitative and immoral (Van Natta 1995). But for those who defend sweatshop labor as the first rung on a ladder toward greater economic development, the charge that sweatshop labor is self-evidently exploitative (...) fails adequately to explain the nature of the alleged wrongdoing. While all sides might agree that poor working conditions are unfortunate and undesirable, defenders of sweatshop labor argue that they provide the best available employment alternative for some workers and the best chance at economic development for many low and middle income countries (LMICs). Some defenders of sweatshop labor even embrace the label of exploitation. <br><br>Unless there is a clear, widely understood account by which exploitation is a moral wrong, then charging a practice as exploitative will do little to advance debates over whether and why a practice is morally problematic. A considerable body of work has been developed applying a growing literature on exploitation to sweatshop labor. While many forms of moral wrong are associated with sweatshop labor, I will focus specifically on the worry that low wages allow relatively wealthy employers wrongfully to take advantage of or gain from relatively poor workers, especially in LMICs. In particular, I will focus on instances of alleged exploitation in employment relationships that are voluntary and mutually beneficial. I have two reasons for doing so. First, by restricting this review to voluntary and mutually beneficial instances of exploitation, I can isolate the moral wrong of exploitation from other moral wrongs, especially the wrongs of coercion and outright harms to workers. Second, the focus on mutually beneficial and voluntary relationships will allow for arguments that sweatshop labor is not only not exploitative, but is a morally praiseworthy means of helping to encourage economic growth in poor areas of the world and to provide jobs that pay better and are more stable than any existing alternatives.<br><br>In this review, I aim to accomplish three goals. First, I will provide an overview of the many different uses of the charge of exploitation in business practice through an examination of the uses of the term in the literature on sweatshop labor. While it is often not clear what kind of moral wrong is assumed to take place when the charge of exploitation is used, I will demonstrate that many distinct types of exploitation, connected to distinct moral wrongs, are used in the literature on sweatshop labor and elsewhere in business ethics. Specifically, I will identify two broad categories of exploitation—exploitation as unfairness and exploitation as the mere use of others—with subgroups under each main category of exploitation. Second, I will discuss which of these senses of exploitation are defensible as identifying clear moral wrongs that take place in the context of business and, specifically, sweatshop labor. As I will argue, not all uses of the charge of exploitation are capable of persuasively identifying clear moral wrongs. Moreover, there is not a single, clear type of exploitation that takes place in business but, rather, several distinct forms. Third, I will apply the lessons learned from my exploration of exploitation in sweatshop labor to other specific areas of business. As I will argue, there are multiple viable models of exploitation in the sweatshop literature that can illuminate exploitative practices of relatively well compensated employees, customers, suppliers, and entire communities. <br><br>While discussions of theories of exploitation tend to argue for a single, correct account of this moral wrong, my review of the literature on exploitation in sweatshop labor supports the conclusion that there are multiple defensible accounts of the moral wrong of exploitation. For this reason, those who would charge that a relationship is exploitative should specify the form of exploitation that they believe is taking place. (shrink)
It is argued that there are good reasons for believing that commercial surrogacy is often exploitative. However, even if we accept this, the exploitation argument for prohibiting (or otherwise legislatively discouraging) commercial surrogacy remains quite weak. One reason for this is that prohibition may well 'backfire' and lead to potential surrogates having to do other things that are more exploitative and/or more harmful than paid surrogacy. It is concluded, therefore, that those who oppose exploitation should concentrate on: (a) (...) improving the conditions under which paid surrogates 'work'; and (b) changing the background conditions (in particular, the unequal distribution of power and wealth) which generate exploitative relationships. (edited). (shrink)
My primary aims in this paper are to explain what exploitation is, when it’s wrong, and what makes it wrong. I argue that exploitation is not always wrong, but that it can be, and that its wrongness cannot be fully explained with familiar moral constraints such as those against harming people, coercing them, or using them as a means, or with familiar moral obligations such as an obligation to rescue those in distress or not to take advantage of (...) people’s vulnerabilities. Its deepest wrongness, I argue, lies in our moral obligation not to extract excessive benefits from people who cannot, or cannot reasonably, refuse our offers. (shrink)
Various authors, for instance Elizabeth Anderson, Rosemary Tong, Mary Warnock and Margaret Brazier have argued that commercial surrogate motherhood is exploitative and that it should be prohibited. Their arguments are unconvincing. Exploitation is a more complex notion than it is usually presented as being. Unequal bargaining power can be a cause of exploitation but the exercise of unequal bargaining power is not inevitably or inherently exploitative. Exploitation concerns unfair and/or unjust strategies - rather than the exercise of (...) power as such. Commercial surrogate motherhood is not necessarily exploitative. Furthermore, not all transactions which are exploitative should be made illegal. (shrink)
A recent argument in favor of a free market in human organs claims that such a market enhances personal autonomy. I argue here that such a market would, on the contrary, actually compromise the autonomy of those most likely to sell their organs, namely, the least well off members of society. A Marxian-inspired notion of exploitation is deployed to show how, and in what sense, this is the case.
In ?The Labour Theory of Value and the Concept of Exploitation? I distinguished between two ways in which the labour theory of value is formulated, both of which are common. In the popular formulation, the amount of value a commodity has depends on how much labour was spent producing it. In the strict formulation, which is so called because it formulates the labour theory of value proper, the amount of value a commodity has depends on nothing about its history (...) but only on how much labour would (now) be required to produce something just like it. I argued that strict and popular formulations are often wrongly treated as substantially equivalent, and that the practice of conflating them sustains two false impressions: that the labour theory of value is a basis for saying that capitalists exploit workers, and that the labour theory of value is true. The present paper is a reply to Nancy Holmstrom's recent attempt, in ?Marx and Cohen on Exploitation and the Labor Theory of Value?, to refute the theses of the article referred to above. (shrink)
Sweatshop labor is often cited as an example of the worst and most pervasive form of exploitation today, yet understanding what is meant by the charge has proven surprisingly difficult for philosophers. I develop an account of what I call “Needs Exploitation,” grounded in a specification of the duty of beneficence. In the case of sweatshop labor, I argue that employers face a duty to extend to employees a wage sufficient to meet their basic needs. This duty is (...) limited by the degree of the employees’ dependence on the employer for basic needs and a reasonability standard where the employer may remain within a range of well-being between deficiency and luxury. (shrink)
This paper considers two arguments that are common in the literature on organ sales. First, organ sales are exploitative and therefore should not be permitted. Second, it doesn't matter whether organ sales are exploitative or not; the only thing that matters is that we do what is in the interests of those who need to be protected.In this paper, I argue that both of these arguments are too simplistic. My intention, however, is not to argue for or against organ sales. (...) My conclusion, rather, is simply that we cannot hope to address the issue of organ sales if we lack a good understanding of exploitation. We should not attempt to answer the question of whether or not organ sales should be banned on the grounds that they are exploitative without acknowledging and addressing the nuances involved in understanding exploitation. (shrink)
Gerald A. Cohen, in ?The Labor Theory of Value and the Concept of Exploitation?, argues that, contrary to the traditional assumption, Marx's charge of exploitation against capitalism does not require the labor theory of value. However, there is a related but simpler basis for the charge. Hence Marx's criticism can stand even if the labor theory of value falls. Furthermore, he argues that the labor theory of value is false. It is argued here that Cohen is mistaken; the (...) charge Marx makes against capitalism does require the labor theory of value. Cohen's conception of exploitation is weaker than Marx's both theoretically and morally. It is also argued that Cohen's criticisms of the labor theory of value rest on misunderstandings of the theory and Marx's methodology. (shrink)
This paper offers a new answer to an old question. Others have argued that exploitation is wrong because it is coercive, or degrading, or fails to protect the vulnerable. But these answers only work for certain cases; counterexamples are easily found. In this paper I identify a different answer to the question by placing exploitation within the larger family of wrongs to which it belongs. Exploitation is one species of wrongful gain, and exploiters always gain at the (...) expense of others by inflicting relative losses on disadvantaged parties. They do harm to their victims, even when their interactions are mutually advantageous, by failing to benefit the disadvantaged party as fairness requires. This failure is the essential wrong in every case of wrongful exploitation. At the end of the paper I assess how wrong this failure is as a way to gain at another's expense. (shrink)
Interest shown on the environmental impact of operations of multinational enterprises in developing countries has grown significantly recently, and has fuelled a heated public policy debate. In particular, there has been interest in the environmental degradation of host communities and nations resulting from the operations of multinational oil companies in developing countries. This article examines the issue of environmental costs and responsibilities resulting from oil exploitation and production in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. The case study is based, (...) in part, upon series of interviews with key stakeholders in the Nigerian oil industry. The article further examines the implications of the current practice and policies of multinational oil companies with respect to environmental impact of oil exploitation. The study’s findings illustrates that it is becoming increasingly apparent to oil companies that pollution prevention pays while pollution does not and under pressure from stakeholder groups, oil companies now routinely incorporate environmental impact assessments into their corporate strategy. (shrink)
Working from a ``capitalist'''' theory of exploitation, based on a neo-classical account of economic value, I argue that guest workers are exploited. It may be objected, however, that since they are not citizens, any inequality that stems from their status as non-citizens is morally unobjectionable. Although host countries are under no moral obligation to admit guest workers as citizens, thereare independent reasons that call for the extension of economicrights – the freedom of occupation in particular – to guestworkers. Since (...) the cause of unequal exchange rests in the factthat guest workers are deprived of these rights, rather than in their exclusion from citizenship per se, I concludethat they are exploited even if their exclusion from citizenshipmay be justified. (shrink)
Traditional Marxists hold that capitalist modes of production are unjustly exploitative. In 'Self-Ownership, Freedom and Equality' G. A. Cohen argues that this ``exploitation charge'' commits traditional Marxists to the thesis that people own themselves (``self-ownership''). If so, then traditional Marxism is vulnerable to a libertarian challenge to its commitment to equality. Cohen, therefore, recommends that Marxists abandon the exploitation charge. This paper undermines Cohen's case for the alleged link between the exploitation charge and self-ownership primarily by defending (...) an account of the exploitation charge that does not involve self-ownership or compromise the Marxist commitment to equality. (shrink)
In recent decades, debates about exploitation have tended to be subsumed by debates about choice and autonomy. This phenomenon has affected international feminism adversely, creating polarized debates over such issues as prostitution. Equally grave is the more recent tendency, even among some feminists, to assume that a woman's free choice to accept payment for egg ``donation'' in somatic cell nuclear transfer stem cell research absolves researchers of any charge of exploitation or abuse of research subjects. This paper suggests (...) that much of this dissension among feminists is due to conflicting understandings of the crucial but neglected concept of exploitation. Analyzing two possible senses of exploitation -- a disparity between value ``in'' and value ``out'' versus an affront to dignity -- this paper argues that both are underpinned by what Carole Pateman identifies as gender subordination. In conclusion it is suggested that transnational feminism return to a more traditionally feminist stance, which explicitly focuses on opposing the subordination and exploitation of women. (shrink)
There is an alleged tension between undue inducement and exploitation in research trials. This paper considers claims that increasing the benefits to research subjects enrolled in international, externally-sponsored clinical trials should be avoided on the grounds that it may result in the undue inducement of research subjects. This article contributes to the debate about exploitation versus undue inducement by introducing an analysis of the available empirical research into research participants' motivations and the influence of payments on research subjects' (...) behaviour and risk assessment. Admittedly, the available research in this field is limited, but the research that has been conducted suggests that financial rewards do not distort research subjects' behaviour or blind them to the risks involved with research. Therefore, I conclude that research sponsors should prioritise the prevention of exploitation in international research by providing greater benefits to research participants. (edited). (shrink)
Roemer's attempt to undermine the normative reasons that Marxists have thought exploitation important (domination, alienation, and inequality) is vitiated by several crucial errors. First, Roemer ignores the dimension of freedom which is Marx's main concern and replaces it with an interest in justice, which Marx rejected. This leads him to misconstrue the nature of exploitation as Marx understands it. Second, his procedure for disconnecting these evils from exploitation, or denying their importance, involves the methodological assumption that (...) class='Hi'>exploitation must strictly imply these evils. He thus fails to see that exploitation may 'cause' domination, alienation, and inequality; this assumption and the focus on justice also lead him to overlook the sort of alienation that is most important to Marx and the way exploitation, as Marx understands it, does imply coercion. Roemer's alternative conception of exploitation thus fails to capture basic Marxist normative and explanatory concerns. But Roemer's insistence on the importance of justice and the need for an articulated alternative to capitalism are a necessary supplement to a Marxist account. (shrink)
I T I S S T A R T L I N G T O realize that the concept of economic exploitation, which has been the focus of intense philosophical debate for what seems like decades now, was barely touched on in John Rawls's 1971 masterwork, A Theory o f Justice, the book that ushered in the present era of Anglo - American social and political philosophy. The subject was broached just once by Rawls, and only to be dismissed (...) as being of such secondary importance as to be "out of place here."1 The concept, however, had begun to attract the attention of a generation of students and young faculty who were rediscovering Marx, to the point that it could not much longer be ignored, not even in Harvard Yard. Robert Nozick, in his famous juniorcolleague, neoconservative rebuttal to the liberal Rawls, devoted a full nine pages to attacking "Marxian exploitation," concluding that "Marxian exploitation is the exploitation of people's lack of understanding of economics.". (shrink)
This article addresses the problem of filling in a missing component of David Miller's non-cosmopolitan theory of global justice, as elaborated in his recent National responsibility and global justice (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007). Miller originally included non-exploitation as one of the norms of global justice, but he does not provide a theory of exploitation in his recent book. This article is a preliminary attempt to suggest how Miller might fill in this gap. This article identifies the problems (...) Miller faces in coming up with a theory of exploitation, given the limits imposed by the other parts of his theory of global justice. It examines and criticises several possible theories of exploitation that Miller might use. Finally, it argues that a modified version of Hillel Steiner's liberal theory of exploitation fits into Miller's overall theory of global justice. (shrink)
Is exploitation unjust? This essay attempts to resolve this famous question by suggesting a new approach to the relationship between exploitation and injustice. The literature on exploitation so far has focussed almost exclusively on the question of the circumstances of exploitation. This paper, by contrast, consists in investigating a different question, namely: what are the motives of exploitation? There are two different types of motive behind the act of exploitation: to secure an economic gain (...) by using another person to one's advantage, and to humiliate and degrade another person for the sake of identifying with power. Understanding exploitation in terms of the latter motive enables us to see the injustice of exploitation from a different angle, pushing us beyond the narrow perspective (popular amongst Marxists) that tends to equate exploitation with the economics of an unfair exchange. (shrink)
Though Adam Smith believed that the spontaneous forces of the market set prices at the most productive level, he doubted that market forces price wages as fairly as the prices of other commodities. In fact, various observations by Smith suggest that the market tends to undervalue wages almost as naturally as it naturalizes the prices of most commodities under nonmonopolistic conditions. Those observations imply the germ of a capitalist theory of exploitation.
Abstract In his paper “The Opposite of Human Enhancement: Nanotechnology and the Blind Chicken problem” ( Nanoethics 2: 305-36, 2008) Thompson argued that technological attempts to reduce or eliminate selected non-human animals’ capabilities (animal disenhancements) in order to solve or mitigate animal welfare problems in animals’ use pose a philosophical conundrum, because there is a contradiction between rational arguments in favor of these technological interventions and intuitions against them. In her response “Animal Disenhancement and the Non-Identity Problem: A Response to (...) Thompson” ( Nanoethics 5:43–48, 2011), Palmer maintained that the philosophical conundrum is even deeper if we introduce the non-identity problem into the discussion. In my brief response, I claim that in order to avoid the pitfalls of speculative ethics, empirical facts related to the technologies involved as well as costs for the non-human animals have to be taken into account. Depending on which changes we are referring to, ethical problems can be seen very differently. Widening the consideration to the socio-economic context in which non-human animals are currently used by humans, I challenge the idea of genuine philosophical conundrums from an antispeciesist and abolitionist perspective. Only in a context of exploitation, in which non-human animals are deprived of basic rights and their existence is totally dependent on human exploitation, the contradictions between improvement of welfare and disenhancement of capabilities make sense. Content Type Journal Article Category Critical Discussion Notes Pages 1-12 DOI 10.1007/s11569-012-0139-1 Authors Arianna Ferrari, KIT/ITAS (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology/Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis), Karlsruhe, Germany Journal NanoEthics Online ISSN 1871-4765 Print ISSN 1871-4757. (shrink)
Unimpressed by the exhortations of previous generations, our modern society accepts premarital sex. Advisably? In an attempt to answer this question, I shall make three related points, drawing on findings from evolutionary psychology and bargaining theory. First, premarital sex is potentially exploitative. Second, to allow premarital sex is not merely to extend a certain freedom, but indirectly to compel women to practice premarital sex, hence, effectively to foster their exploitation. Third, some of the measures taken to combat the sexual (...)exploitation of single women can make matters worse. (edited). (shrink)
Are guest-worker programs exploitative? Egalitarian and neoclassical theories of exploitation agree that they always are. But these judgments are too indiscriminate. Privileged guests are the exception, and the exception points toward a more sensitive standard for identifying exploitation. This more sensitive standard, the sufficiency theory of exploitation, is used to analyze several guest-worker programs. Even when guest-worker programs are exploitative, it is argued that the unfairness should be tolerated if the exploitation is modest, not severe, and (...) if the most likely nonexploitative alternative worsens the plight of the disadvantaged. (shrink)
This paper uses the example of payday loans to identify two standards of exploitation that better accord with intuitions about taking unfair advantage than neoclassical or neo-Marxian exploitation theory. These two standards are derived from ongoing policy debates about the regulation of payday loans. The sufficiency standard is more restrictive than relative-advantage theory, but the latter indicates when exceptions to the prohibition on exploitation should be made for the sake of the disadvantaged party.
(2000). Caring at a Distance: (Im)partiality, Moral Motivation and the Ethics of Representation - Manipulation and Exploitation? Western Media and the Third World. Ethics, Place & Environment: Vol. 3, No. 3, pp. 317-319. doi: 10.1080/713665895.
Consensus is lacking among research ethicists on the question of how broadly to understand the requirements of non-exploitation in international clinical research. Two types of principles have been proposed, minimalist and non-minimalist, grounded in two opposing conceptions of exploitation, transactional and systemic. Transactionalists have offered principles, which, it has been argued, are satisfied by minimal gains to vulnerable subjects measured against an unjust status quo. Systemicists have advanced principles with decidedly non-minimal mandates but only by conflating the obligations (...) of clinical research with those of First World citizenship. My aim here is to break this deadlock by offering grounds for a non-minimal requirement of international research ethics grounded in a transactional conception of exploitation. I do this by arguing that a subject's gains must be measured not only within the transaction, relative to her own starting point and to the share of gains enjoyed by her co-transactor, but also across transactions, so as to ensure parity of benefit to trial participants whenever, and wherever, parity of burden is assumed. (shrink)
This essay analyzesexploitation in biomedical research in terms ofthree basic elements: harm, disrespect, orinjustice. There are also degrees ofexploitation, ranging from highly exploitationto minimally exploitation. Althoughexploitation is prima facie wrongful,some exploitative research studies are morallyjustified, all things considered. The reasonan exploitative study can still be ethical isthat other moral considerations, such as theautonomy of the research subject or the socialbenefits of research, may sometimes justifystudies that are minimally exploitative. Calling a research project exploitative doesnot end the debate about the (...) merits of thestudy but invites one to ask additionalquestions about how the study is exploitative,and whether the study is justifiablenevertheless. (shrink)
Ballantyne correctly notes the need for clarification as to the standard of fairness that should guide nonexploitative international research on human subjects. When accounts of exploitation are applied to pharmaceutical development (as well as other areas), there is too often an uncritical acceptance that exploitation involves a form of unfairness. Moreover, these authors typically fail to produce an account of fairness by which exploitation should be identified. Ballantyne should be applauded for her attempt to inject greater clarity (...) into these debates. Her preferred standard of fairness is problematic, however. Ballantyne fails to distinguish between at least two forms of exploitation, tied to two distinct forms of unfairness, that can take place in international research on human subjects. As I argue here, the first form of exploitation derives from transactional unfairness where researchers take special unfair advantage of research subjects. The second form of exploitation occurs when researchers take advantage of background injustices that disadvantage research subjects. As a result of this failure to differentiate between different forms of exploitation, Ballantyne misidentifies the requirements of fairness for engaging in nonexploitative international human subject research. (shrink)