Jacob Sparks
California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
Critics of commodification often claim that the buying and selling of some good communicates disrespect or some other inappropriate attitude. Such semiotic critiques have been leveled against markets in sex, pornography, kidneys, surrogacy, blood, and many other things. Brennan and Jaworski (2015a) have recently argued that all such objections fail. They claim that the meaning of a market transaction is a highly contingent, socially constructed fact. If allowing a market for one of these goods can improve the supply, access or quality of the good, then instead of banning the market on semiotic grounds, they urge that we should revise our semiotics. In this reply, I isolate a part of the meaning of a market transaction that is not socially constructed: our market exchanges always express preferences. I then show how cogent semiotic critiques of some markets can be constructed on the basis of this fact.
Keywords commodification  markets  semiotics  business ethics
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ISBN(s) 1053-8364
DOI 10.5840/jpr2017425101
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References found in this work BETA

The Ethics of Voting.Jason Brennan - 2011 - Princeton Univ Pr.
On Ethics and Economics.Amartya Sen - 1989 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 51 (4):722-723.

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Citations of this work BETA

Markets Within the Limit of Feasibility.Kenneth Silver - forthcoming - Journal of Business Ethics:1-15.
The Meaning of a Market and the Meaning of "Meaning".Julian D. Jonker - 2019 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 15 (2).
Semiotic Limits to Markets Defended.David Rondel - 2022 - Philosophia 50 (1):217-232.
Come On, Come On, Love Me for the Money.Jason Brennan & Peter M. Jaworski - 2018 - Business Ethics Journal Review 6 (6):30-35.
Can’T Buy Approval.Jacob Sparks - 2018 - Business Ethics Journal Review 6 (2):7-10.

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