About this topic
Summary A exploits B when A takes advantage of B in a certain kind of way. Usually, exploitation is held to involve taking unfair advantage. But this raises numerous questions about how, precisely, unfairness should be understood, and about what sort of moral implications a finding of unfairness generates. What procedures or substantive outcomes render a transaction between A and B unfair? Can an interaction between A and B be exploitative because of the unjust ways in which C has treated B, or are such third-party actions irrelevant? Does exploitation violate rights? Should it be legally prohibited? Are activities like organ sales, sweatshop labor, price gouging, and payday loans exploitative? And if so, what follows?
Key works Prior to the late 1980s, most philosophical work on exploitation focused on Karl Marx's influential theory of the exploitation of workers under capitalism - see, e.g., Cohen 1979, Arneson 1981, Roemer 1985. In the mid-1990s, Alan Wertheimer's important book, Exploitation, helped to bring interest and attention to the concept as a important moral concept not necessarily tied to Marx's particular framework. Rival theoretical accounts have been proposed by Wood 1995, Sample 2003 and Steiner 1984. Much of the literature on exploitation has developed in the context of the analysis of particular moral problems, such as sweatshops, a basic income, and clinical research on vulnerable populations.
Introductions Alan Wertheimer's entry on exploitation at the Stanford Encyclopedia provides a helpful overview of the topic. His 1996 book, and Ruth Sample's later book, also provide good, highly readable introductions.
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572 found
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  1. added 2020-05-18
    Wrongful Beneficence: Exploitation and Third World Sweatshops.Chris Meyers - 2004 - Journal of Social Philosophy 35 (3):319-333.
  2. added 2020-05-18
    Veganism.Tzachi Zamir - 2004 - Journal of Social Philosophy 35 (3):367-379.
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  3. added 2020-05-18
    The Simple Dignity of Sentient Life: Speciesism and Human Dignity.Michael Meyer - 2001 - Journal of Social Philosophy 32 (2):115-126.
  4. added 2020-05-18
    Taking Seriously Victims of Unethical Experiments: Susan Brison's Conception of the Self and Its Rel.Carol Quinn - 2000 - Journal of Social Philosophy 31 (3):316-325.
  5. added 2020-05-15
    Self-Ownership, Marxism, and Egalitarianism.Eric Mack - 2002 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 1 (2):237-276.
  6. added 2020-05-11
    Resource Rights: Expanding the Scope of Liberal Theories.Kim Angell - 2019 - Journal of Social Philosophy 50 (3):322-340.
  7. added 2020-05-11
    Exploitation and Joint Action.Erik Malmqvist & András Szigeti - 2019 - Journal of Social Philosophy 50 (3):280-300.
    Journal of Social Philosophy, EarlyView.
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  8. added 2020-05-11
    Emotional Labour: A Case of Gender-Specific Exploitation.Mirjam Müller - 2019 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 22 (7):841-862.
  9. added 2020-05-07
    The Market, Competition, and Structural Exploitation.Hannes Kuch - 2020 - Constellations 27 (1):95-110.
  10. added 2020-03-25
    Immigrants and Welfare.Stephen Kershnar - 2002 - Public Affairs Quarterly 16:39-61.
    A contract in which the potential immigrants to the U.S. waive their right to non-emergency welfare benefits in return for their being allowed to come to the U.S. is not unjust. This is because the right to allow persons to immigrate in return for their waiving any future claim on non-emergency welfare benefits is included in other moral rights that the U.S. has. Nor is the transaction exploitative since it is beneficial to the average immigrant and since he gains a (...)
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  11. added 2020-03-25
    Objections to the Systematic Imposition of Punitive Torture.Stephen Kershnar - 1999 - International Journal of Applied Philosophy 13 (1):47-56.
    A particular amount of punishment is justified if and only if that amount of punishment is deserved and the desert claim is not overridden. In the case of some multiple murderers or people who perform serious violent acts in addition to murder, the deserved punishment must involve torture. I argue that this legitimate desert claim is not overridden by objections based on notions of brutality and inhumanity, the Kantian concern that persons be treated as ends, the intuitive distaste that many (...)
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  12. added 2020-02-11
    Bodies for Sale: Ethics and Exploitation in the Human Body Trade.James Taylor - 2005 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 8 (5):579-581.
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  13. added 2020-01-26
    Exploitation, Solidarity, and Dignity.Pablo Gilabert - 2019 - Journal of Social Philosophy 50 (4):465-494.
    This paper offers a normative exploration of what exploitation is and of what is wrong with it. The focus is on the critical assessment of the exploitation of workers in capitalist societies. Such exploitation is wrongful when it involves a contra-solidaristic use of power to benefit oneself at the expense of others. Wrongful exploitation consists in using your greater power, and sometimes even in making other less powerful than you, in order to get them to benefit you more than they (...)
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  14. added 2019-11-26
    How Propaganda Became Public Relations: Foucault and the Corporate Government of the Public.Cory Wimberly - 2020 - New York, NY, USA: Routledge.
    How Propaganda Became Public Relations pulls back the curtain on propaganda: how it was born, how it works, and how it has masked the bulk of its operations by rebranding itself as public relations. Cory Wimberly uses archival materials and wide variety of sources — Foucault’s work on governmentality, political economy, liberalism, mass psychology, and history — to mount a genealogical challenge to two commonplaces about propaganda. First, modern propaganda did not originate in the state and was never primarily located (...)
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  15. added 2019-10-15
    Sweatshops, Structural Injustice, and the Wrong of Exploitation: Why Multinational Corporations Have Positive Duties to the Global Poor.Brian Berkey - forthcoming - Journal of Business Ethics:1-14.
    It is widely thought that firms that employ workers in “sweatshop” conditions wrongfully exploit those workers. This claim has been challenged by those who argue that because companies are not obligated to hire their workers in the first place, employing them cannot be wrong so long as they voluntarily accept their jobs and genuinely benefit from them. In this article, I argue that we can maintain that at least many sweatshop employees are wrongfully exploited, while accepting the plausible claim at (...)
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  16. added 2019-09-09
    Marcuse e a ambivalência da técnica.Assucena Sousa - 2018 - Dissertation, University of Minho
    Herbert Marcuse was one of the most influential political philosophers in the 20th century. After his death, his popularity started decreasing and the philosopher somewhat sank into oblivion. This dissertation intends to investigate the Marcusean contribution to the subject of technics, so imbricated on his political philosophy, and demonstrate that it deserves reappraisal. We shall analyse the theoretical context of Marcuse’s work and put opposing stances, both technophobe and technophile, up for debate. The intent is to not only present the (...)
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  17. added 2019-08-01
    خودکشی توسط دموکراسی یک موانع برای آمریکا و جهان.Michael Richard Starks - 2019 - Las Vegas, NV USA: Reality Press.
    امریکا و جهان در روند فروپاشی از رشد جمعیت بیش از حد هستند, بیشتر از آن برای قرن گذشته, و در حال حاضر همه از آن, با توجه به مردم جهان 3. مصرف منابع و علاوه بر این از 3 میلیارد بیشتر ca. ۲۱۰۰ تمدن صنعتی را سقوط خواهد کرد و در مورد گرسنگی ، بیماری ، خشونت و جنگ در مقیاس سرسام آور را به ارمغان بیاورد. زمین از دست می دهد حداقل 1 درصد از خاک خود را در (...)
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  18. added 2019-06-10
    Justice, Exploitation and the End of Morality.Alan Ryan - 1987 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Lectures 22:117-134.
    This paper is a small contribution to two large subjects. The first large subject is that of exploitation—what it is for somebody to be exploited, in what ways people can be and are exploited, whether exploitation necessarily involves coercion, what Marx's understanding of exploitation was and whether it was adequate: all these are issues on which I merely touch, at best. My particular concern here is to answer the two questions, whether Marx thought capitalist exploitationunjustand how the answer to that (...)
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  19. added 2019-06-07
    Les Hommes et la Terre à Byzance du VIe au XIe Siècle: Propriété et Exploitation du sol.Michel Kaplan.David Olster - 1995 - Speculum 70 (3):639-641.
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  20. added 2019-06-06
    Why Some Things Should Not Be for Sale: The Moral Limits of Markets. [REVIEW]David Schmidtz - 2011 - Journal of Philosophy 108 (4):219-223.
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  21. added 2019-06-06
    Self-Ownership, Reciprocity, and Exploitation, or Why Marxists Shouldn’T Be Afraid of Robert Nozick.Paul Warren - 1994 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 24 (1):33-56.
    A common theme of libertarians is that there is a conflict between the values of liberty and equality. Achieving equality, so libertarians often argue, would require frequent interference in individuals’ lives, creating constraints on freedom and obstacles to the development of individuality. Although not himself endorsing a libertarian conception of liberty, Oxford philosopher G.A. Cohen recently has advanced the surprising thesis that there is a tension in Marxist normative thought that in an interesting way parallels the often heard libertarian challenge (...)
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  22. added 2019-06-05
    "How America Disguises its Violence: Colonialism, Mass Incarceration, and the Need for Resistant Imagination".Shari Stone-Mediatore - 2019 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 2019 (5):1-20.
    This paper examines how a delusive social imaginary of criminal-justice has underpinned contemporary U.S. mass incarceration and encouraged widespread indifference to its violence. I trace the complicity of this criminal-justice imaginary with state-organized violence by comparing it to an imaginary that supported colonial violence. I conclude by discussing how those of us outside of prison can begin to resist the entrenched images and institutions of mass incarceration by engaging the work and imagining the perspective of incarcerated people.
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  23. added 2019-06-05
    Exploitation in Cross-Border Reproductive Care.Angela Ballantyne - 2014 - International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics 7 (2):75-99.
    This paper will focus on a subcategory of cross-border reproductive care—commercial contracts for the sale of reproductive goods and services. In these cases, the women are paid a fee for their reproductive goods and services . Such contracts have generated widespread concern about exploitation. Yet the term exploitation is used variably in the literature and conflated with concerns about harm, commodification, lack of autonomy of sellers, unjust conditions of poverty, and invalid consent. It is also often assumed that exploitation should (...)
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  24. added 2019-06-05
    Exploitation, Altruism, and Social Welfare: An Economic Exploration.Matthias Doepke - 2013 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 12 (4):375-391.
    Child labor is often condemned as a form of exploitation. I explore how the notion of exploitation, as used in everyday language, can be made precise in economic models of child labor. Exploitation is defined relative to a specific social welfare function. I first show that under the standard dynastic social welfare function, which is commonly applied to intergenerational models, child labor is never exploitative. In contrast, under an inclusive welfare function, which places additional weight on the welfare of children, (...)
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  25. added 2019-06-05
    Mega‐Interest on Microcredit: Are Lenders Exploiting the Poor?Joakim Sandberg - 2012 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 29 (3):169-185.
    abstractMicrocredit is often hailed as an effective way of alleviating poverty. In recent years, however, microfinance institutions have been the target of much criticism due to their comparatively high interest rates. This paper discusses whether it can be morally justified to charge very high rates of interest when lending money to the poor. Arguments are drawn from contemporary as well as historical debates on usury, exploitation, egalitarianism and consequentialism. It is conceded that it would be preferable if interest rates could (...)
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  26. added 2019-06-05
    Exploitation and Developing Countries: The Ethics of Clinical Research. Edited by Jennifer S. Hawkins and Ezekiel J. Emanuel. Pp. 327, Princeton and Oxford, Princeton University Press, 2008, $14.95. [REVIEW]John R. Williams - 2012 - Heythrop Journal 53 (5):895-897.
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  27. added 2019-06-05
    Against Risk‐Benefit Review of Prisoner Research.Eric Chwang - 2010 - Bioethics 24 (1):14-22.
    ABSTRACTThe 2006 Institute of Medicine report, ‘Ethical Considerations for Research Involving Prisoners’, recommended five main changes to current US Common Rule regulations on prisoner research. Their third recommendation was to shift from a category‐based to a risk‐benefit approach to research review, similar to current guidelines on pediatric research. However, prisoners are not children, so risk‐benefit constraints on prisoner research must be justified in a different way from those on pediatric research. In this paper I argue that additional risk‐benefit constraints on (...)
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  28. added 2019-06-05
    Revisiting Child‐Based Objections to Commercial Surrogacy.Jason K. M. Hanna - 2010 - Bioethics 24 (7):341-347.
    Many critics of commercial surrogate motherhood argue that it violates the rights of children. In this paper, I respond to several versions of this objection. The most common version claims that surrogacy involves child‐selling. I argue that while proponents of surrogacy have generally failed to provide an adequate response to this objection, it can be overcome. After showing that the two most prominent arguments for the child‐selling objection fail, I explain how the commissioning couple can acquire parental rights by paying (...)
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  29. added 2019-06-05
    Border Disputes Across Bodies: Exploitation in Trafficking for Prostitution and Egg Sale for Stem Cell Research.Heather Widdows - 2009 - International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics 2 (1):5-24.
    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 (...)
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  30. added 2019-06-05
    Book ReviewsJennifer S., Hawkins, and Ezekiel J. Emanuel,, Eds. Exploitation and Developing Countries: The Ethics of Clinical Research.Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2008. Pp. 336. $65.00 ; $24.95. [REVIEW]Jeremy C. Snyder - 2009 - Ethics 119 (3):567-571.
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  31. added 2019-06-05
    Nouvelles formes d’exploitation.Michela Marzano - 2008 - Cités 35 (3):111-122.
    À l’époque du taylorisme et du fordisme, personne ne se souciait de convaincre les ouvriers de l’importance de leur tâche. Un seul critère guidait alors les dirigeants : optimiser le rendement de leurs usines. Il ne serait venu à l’idée de personne de chercher à obtenir l’adhésion des salariés. Ces derniers n’étaient que des « pièces » à l’intérieur d’un processus...
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  32. added 2019-06-05
    Bodies for Sale: Ethics and Exploitation in the Human Body Trade. [REVIEW]Hugh Browton - 2005 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 2 (1):114-115.
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  33. added 2019-06-05
    The Inducement of Meaningful Work: A Response to Anderson and Weijer.Terrence P. Mc Eachern - 2004 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 26 (5):427-430.
    James A. Anderson and Charles Weijer take the wage payment model proposed by Neil Dickert and Christine Grady and extend the analogy of research participation to unskilled wage labor to include just working conditions. Although noble in its intentions, this moral extension generates unsavory outcomes. Most notably, Anderson and Weijer distinguish between two types of research subjects: occasional and professional. The latter, in this case, receives benefits beyond the moral minima in the form of “the right to meaningful work.” The (...)
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  34. added 2019-06-05
    Randomised Placebo-Controlled Trials and HIV-Infected Pregnant Women in Developing Countries. Ethica.Paquita De Zulueta - 2001 - Bioethics 15 (4):289-311.
    In this paper, I provide a brief summary of the context, outline the arguments for and against the controversial use of placebo controls, and focus on particular areas that I believe merit further discussion or clarification. On balance, I argue that the researchers failed in their duties to protect the best interests of their research subjects, and to promote distributive justice. I discuss the difficulties of obtaining valid consent in this research context, and argue that it is unethical to inform (...)
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  35. added 2019-06-05
    Ne Hic Saltaveris: The Marxian Theory of Exploitation After Roemer: Gilbert L. Skillman.Gilbert L. Skillman - 1995 - Economics and Philosophy 11 (2):309-331.
    In his book A General Theory of Exploitation and Class, John Roemer employs the tools of mainstream general equilibrium and game-theoretic analysis to develop a fundamental critique and broadbased reformulation of Marxian economic theory. Perhaps Roemer's most striking departure from traditional Marxian tenets lies in his explanation of the material basis of exploitation in capitalist economies. Roemer argues that capitalist exploitation must be understood as essentially the consequence of exchange given differential ownership of relatively scarce productive assets. In particular, Roemer (...)
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  36. added 2019-06-05
    What Walrasian Marxism Can and Cannot Do * Article Author Query * Roemer J [Google Scholar].John Roemer - 1992 - Economics and Philosophy 8 (1):149-156.
    In their article “Roemer's ‘General’ Theory of Exploitation is a Special Case: The Limits of Walrasian Marxism,” Devine and Dymski portray me as some sort of Walrasian automaton who believes that phenomena that are not easily modelled using the Walrasian model of perfect competition do not exist. Their criticism of my theory assumes that I was attempting to model capitalism in its entirety, a task that, I agree, I failed to do. I did not propose a theory of accumulation, or (...)
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  37. added 2019-06-05
    Roemer's “General” Theory of Exploitation Is a Special Case: The Limits of Walrasian Marxism: James Devine And Cary Dymski.James Devine - 1991 - Economics and Philosophy 7 (2):235-275.
    In a series of recent writings, John Roemer has made a provocative claim: exploitation and class are merely second-order concepts within Marxian theory, because both phenomena derive directly from differential ownership of productive assets ; indeed, exploitation remains a consistent index of economic injustice only if a “property relations” conception of exploitation replaces the common “labor-value” view. In sum, property relations, not the labor exchange, the labor proces, labor values, or even capitalist accumlation should be the central concern of Marxian (...)
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  38. added 2019-06-05
    Why Worry About How Exploitation Is Defined?: Reply to John Roemer.Jeffrey Reiman - 1990 - Social Theory and Practice 16 (1):101-113.
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  39. added 2019-06-05
    ‘Self‐Exploitation’ and Workers' Co‐Operatives—or How the British Left Get Their Concepts Wrong.Alan Carter - 1989 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 6 (2):195-200.
    ABSTRACT In this article I examine the concept ‘self‐exploitation’ and its use in criticising workers' co‐operatives. I argue that the concept is incoherent and that the kind of exploitation which members of workers' co‐ops actually face is ‘market‐exploitation’. Moreover, some of the criticisms of workers' co‐ops which are made by those who employ the confused concept ‘self‐exploitation’ are shown to be inapposite when ‘market‐exploitation’ is recognised to be the real problem. I conclude with a discussion of the reasons for the (...)
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  40. added 2019-06-05
    A Critique of Roemer, Hodgson and Cohen on Marxian Exploitation.Ian Hunt - 1986 - Social Theory and Practice 12 (2):121-171.
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  41. added 2019-06-05
    Surplus Value, Profit, and Exploitation.Daya Daya - 1956 - Diogenes 4 (14):63-82.
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  42. added 2019-05-22
    Arrogance and Love.Marilyn Frye - 1985 - In Paula A. Treichler, Cheris Kramarae & Beth Stafford (eds.), For Alma Mater: Theory and Practice in Feminist Scholarship. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press. pp. 261-271.
    This essay is adapted from Frye, Marilyn (1983). "In and Out of Harm's Way: Arrogance and Love." In The Politics of Reality: Essays in Feminist Theory. Trumansburg, NY: The Crossing Press. pp. 52-83. (For more details on The Politics of Reality, see the PhilPapers link below.).
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  43. added 2019-05-08
    Exploitation and the Sweatshop Quandary - ExploitationAlan Wertheimer Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1996 - The Sweatshop Quandary: Corporate Responsibility on the Global FrontierPamela Varley, Editor Washington, D.C.: Investor Responsibility Research Center, 1998. [REVIEW]Denis G. Arnold - 2003 - Business Ethics Quarterly 13 (2):243-256.
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  44. added 2019-03-31
    Exploitation in the Face of Justice.Andrzej Stoiński - 2017 - Annales. Ethics in Economic Life 20 (6, Special Issue).
    The paper refers to selected issues of exploitation in the face of justice. The analysis is based on the definitions of exploitation contained in the Penal and Civil Codes. The main goal is the identification of the necessary and sufficient conditions for the recognition of exploitation as being unjust. A supplementary question will refer to a specific type of justice which should be considered in this case. In this respect, we should consider retributive, distributive and social justice. Another important factor (...)
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  45. added 2019-02-17
    Cultural Appropriation and Oppression.Erich Matthes - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (4):1003-1013.
    In this paper, I present an outline of the oppression account of cultural appropriation and argue that it offers the best explanation for the wrongfulness of the varied and complex cases of appropriation to which people often object. I then compare the oppression account with the intimacy account defended by C. Thi Nguyen and Matt Strohl. Though I believe that Nguyen and Strohl’s account offers important insight into an essential dimension of the cultural appropriation debate, I argue that justified objections (...)
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  46. added 2019-02-06
    Epistemic Exploitation.Nora Berenstain - 2016 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 3:569-590.
    Epistemic exploitation occurs when privileged persons compel marginalized persons to educate them about the nature of their oppression. I argue that epistemic exploitation is marked by unrecognized, uncompensated, emotionally taxing, coerced epistemic labor. The coercive and exploitative aspects of the phenomenon are exemplified by the unpaid nature of the educational labor and its associated opportunity costs, the double bind that marginalized persons must navigate when faced with the demand to educate, and the need for additional labor created by the default (...)
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  47. added 2019-01-21
    Exploitation and Rational Choice.Loren King - 2011 - Canadian Journal of Political Science 44 (3):35–661.
    Critics fault rational choice theory for dubious assumptions and limited explanatory power. The aims of rational choice are, however, as much normative as explanatory, and I argue that an abiding concern of political thought—the wrong of exploitation—gives moral weight to some of the more substantive assumptions underlying many rational choice prescriptions.
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  48. added 2019-01-20
    Suicide by Democracy:An Obituary for America and the World 2nd Edition.Michael Starks - 2019 - Las Vegas, USA: Reality Press.
    Among the millions of pages of print and web pages and incessant chat and chatter on TV and blogs and speeches, there is a notable absence of a short clear honest, accurate, sane, intelligent summary of the catastrophe that is destroying America and the world. This is partly due to a lack of understanding and partly to the suppression of free speech by the leftist/liberal/progressive/democratic/socialist/multicultural/diverse/social democratic/communist/third world supremacist coalition. I attempt to fill that gap here. -/- An integral part of (...)
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  49. added 2018-11-22
    Weapons, Security, and Oppression: A Normative Study of International Arms Transfers.James Christensen - 2015 - Journal of Political Philosophy 23 (1):23-39.
  50. added 2018-11-17
    Strangers as Constructive Trustees in New Zealand.Rickett Cef - 1991 - Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 11 (4).
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