Exploitation via Labour Power in Marx

Journal of Ethics 3 (2):121--131 (1999)
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 exploitation is linked more fruitfully to a conception of distributive injustice than to Marx''s theory of surplus value.
Keywords appearance and reality  capitalism  commodities  employers and employees  exploitation  G.A. Cohen  labour power  ownership  property rights  slavery
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DOI 10.1023/A:1009859332595
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