Can’t Buy Me Love

Journal of Philosophical Research 42:341-352 (2017)
  Copy   BIBTEX


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.



External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Expressive Objections to Markets: Normative, Not Symbolic.Daniel Layman - 2016 - Business Ethics Journal Review 4 (1):1-6.
I’ll Pay You Ten Bucks Not to Murder Me.Jason Brennan & Peter Jaworski - 2016 - Business Ethics Journal Review 4 (9):53-58.
Conservation through Commodification?Jozef Keulartz - 2013 - Ethics, Policy and Environment 16 (3):297-307.
What Limits Should Markets be Without?James Stacey Taylor - 2016 - Business Ethics Journal Review 4 (7):41-46.
Why Markets in Proto-Deceptive Goods Should Be Restricted.James Stacey Taylor - 2006 - Journal of Business Ethics 65 (4):325-335.
Habermas and Markets.Timo Jütten - 2013 - Constellations 20 (4):587-603.
Transformable Goods and the Limits of What Money Can Buy.David G. Dick - 2017 - Moral Philosophy and Politics 4 (1):121-140.
Black markets, transplant kidneys and interpersonal coercion.J. S. Taylor - 2006 - Journal of Medical Ethics 32 (12):698-701.
Business ethics in a competitive market.Julianne Nelson - 1994 - Journal of Business Ethics 13 (9):663 - 666.


Added to PP

654 (#17,785)

6 months
46 (#46,302)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Jacob Sparks
California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

Citations of this work

Semiotic Limits to Markets Defended.David Rondel - 2021 - Philosophia 50 (1):217-232.
The Meaning of a Market and the Meaning of "Meaning".Julian D. Jonker - 2019 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 15 (2).
Come On, Come On, Love Me for the Money.Jason Brennan & Peter M. Jaworski - 2018 - Business Ethics Journal Review 6 (6):30-35.
Markets Within the Limit of Feasibility.Kenneth Silver - 2021 - Journal of Business Ethics (4):1-15.
Can’t Buy Approval.Jacob Sparks - 2018 - Business Ethics Journal Review 6 (2):7-10.

Add more citations